Rugby Union: Saracens want to secure top-two finish in Aviva Premiership with win at London Irish
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Sarries return to action on Saturday after having last weekend off
Saracens will hope to wrap up home advantage in the Aviva Premiership play-offs when they visit bottom-club London Irish on Sunday.
The north Londoners return to action this Saturday after having last week off from league action.
Sarries are already assured of a top-four finish, but know one bonus-point win from their final two games will be enough to secure a home semi-final in the play-offs.
Mark McCall’s men will look to do the job as soon as possible against struggling Irish this weekend.
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If Saracens can confirm a top-two finish this weekend, it will allow them to rest some key players in their final regular season game at home to Gloucester on May 5 before the play-offs begin later that month.
When the sides met at Allianz Park at the end of October, the north Londoners eased to a 44-13 win over the Exiles.
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Nathan Earle scored a brace of tries for Sarries that day, while Mako Vunipola, Liam Williams, and Chris Wyles dotted down, while Owen Farrell contributed 19 points.
McCall will hope for another emphatic success this weekend, but will come up against an Irish side equally desperate for the points.
The Exiles need a bonus-point triumph this weekend to retain any hope of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.
And Irish boss Declan Kidney, who guided Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009, has warned Sarries his team will be giving it their all this weekend.
“The Saracens game is a cup final for us — we’re at home and one of the things that has struck me in the short time I’ve been here, is the level of support that we’ve received when faced with adversity,” he told the London Irish website.
“We must get ready for an all or nothing match against Saracens. If I were to start talking about anything else, I’d be deflecting from the task in hand.”
Saracens will hope to do the double over Exiles this season with a victory at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
And with the play-offs on the horizon, McCall’s men will hope to generate some momentum before then.