Search

Rugby: Saracens understrength for Clermont clash

PUBLISHED: 13:30 15 December 2017

Saracens' Brad Barritt during a Champions Cup, pool two match (pic Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens' Brad Barritt during a Champions Cup, pool two match (pic Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens must look to revive their season in Sunday’s Champions Cup clash with Clermont while in the midst of a full-blown injury crisis.

Club captain Brad Barritt and scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth have been ruled out of the trip to the Stade Marcel-Michelin where Mark McCall’s men are seeking to halt a run of six consecutive defeats following Monday’s record 46-14 rout by the French giants.

Barritt is unavailable due to concussion and Wigglesworth is sidelined for up to eight weeks because of a hip problem, both injuries sustained in the first half of the six-try evisceration by Clermont.

Saracens were already missing Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola, Michael Rhodes, Schalk Brits, Liam Williams, Duncan Taylor and Dominic Day and are now forced to undertake the toughest assignment in European rugby without two of their generals.

Director of rugby McCall insists the inquest into the collapse of the postponed fixture at Allianz Park – possibly the club’s worst moment in European action – has been calm and measured.

“We are not a club that overreacts, but neither are we a club that sweeps things under the carpet either,” said McCall.

“We obviously face a big challenge, but we’ve given ourselves as a group certain things that we want to do well in the game and certain things in each area that we’ll judge ourselves on.

“Having that simplicity and that clarity is important. The players are right behind it. It’s been calm and it’s been balanced.”

London rivals Harlequins are missing England internationals Chris Robshaw, Danny Care and Joe Marler as they shuffle through the dying embers of their Champions Cup group campaign.

Robshaw and Care are out through concussion and Marler has an unspecified knock, contributing to the six changes made for Friday’s visit to Ulster where they will seek a first victory in Pool One knowing they are already unable to qualify.

“We were extremely disappointed to lose to Ulster at home last Sunday, ending our chances of reaching the quarter-finals,” said Quins director of rugby John Kingston.

“That said, we are really looking forward to the return match and will be demanding a positive performance ahead of our return to the Premiership.”

Ulster, who sit second in the pool and need a win to keep up the pressure on leaders La Rochelle, give a start to openside Chris Henry and replace hamstring-injury victim Tommy Bowe with Louis Ludik.

Newcastle will look to cement top place in Pool One of the Challenge Cup when they travel to the Dragons while Worcester attempt to keep alive their last eight prospects at Oyonnax.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

15 minutes ago

Arsene Wenger came out fighting ahead of Wednesday’s huge Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Emirates against Chelsea.

Yesterday, 20:59

Arsenal U23s beat Bayern Munich U23s 5-2 in the Premier League International Cup at Meadow Walk on Tuesday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s player ratings on the talented junior gunners.

Yesterday, 16:13

Layth Yousif was at London Colney on Tuesday morning to hear what Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had to say about playing London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday – with a chance of silverware at stake for the winner.

Yesterday, 14:00

Spurs looked to have lost ground in the battle for a Champions League spot on Sunday, but Liverpool’s shock defeat at Swansea has lifted spirits again

Read what Arsene Wenger had to say on new signing Henrik Mkhitaryan, the outgoing Alexis Sanchez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Chelsea team news and much more.

Yesterday, 09:00

Bostik North: Haringey Borough 1 (O’Donoghue 38) Potters Bar Town 2 (Adcock 27, Murray 66p)

Mon, 23:03

Arsenal welcomed five young Arsenal supporters to their training ground for an unforgettable day out.

Mon, 21:26

Read what new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan had to say after he joined the club on Monday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now