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Rugby: Saracens need strong start at Exeter says Bosch

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 March 2018

Saracens' Marcelo Bosch looks dejected after Exeter Chiefs' Sam Simmonds scores a last-minute winning try in their Aviva Premiership semi-final at Sandy Park last season (pic David Davies/PA)

Saracens' Marcelo Bosch looks dejected after Exeter Chiefs' Sam Simmonds scores a last-minute winning try in their Aviva Premiership semi-final at Sandy Park last season (pic David Davies/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Saracens will hope to return to the top of the Aviva Premiership with victory over defending champions Exeter in their weather-delayed clash on Sunday.

The two sides had been due to meet at Sandy Park on Saturday, but the fixture was put back 24 hours until 3pm on Sunday following the heavy snowfall across the UK.

Saracens are four points behind their hosts following a 28-20 home loss to Leicester last weekend and travel without a host of senior players due to international duty and injury.

Schalk Burger (rib), Callum Clark (arm), Joel Conlon (neck), Michael Rhodes (hamstring) and Billy Vunipola (arm) are all missing, with new signing Blair Cowan coming on to the bench as Ben Earl starts at flanker.

Nick Isiekwe moves to the blindside, as George Kruis returns to the starting line-up and Marcelo Bosch says Sarries have to start well.

The 34-year-old told saracens.com: “It’s an important game for us. It’s always difficult to play down there but we’ve always done well.

“It’ll come down to our mentality and focusing on changing some things we didn’t do well last weekend.

“We know it’s a tough place to go but we know if we go with the right mindset then we can have a good game.

“It’s key to be in the right mindset on the day and start as big as possible, really switched on. If we receive the restart or we kick it from the beginning we need to put pressure on them.

“If you start well in the first five to 10 minutes that gives you a good build-up of confidence as to what is going to happen during the game. It will be really key for us to start well.”

Meanwhile, Alex Lozowski is one of seven Saracens named in a 33-man squad by England coach Eddie Jones for their next Six Nations fixture against France in Paris on March 10.

Lozowski joins fellow backs Owen Farrell and Richard Wigglesworth, as well as forwards Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Kruis and Mako Vunipola in the group as he looks to add to his four caps.

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