Saracens hope to tame Tigers in league match

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall (pic: Richard Sellers/PA)

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall (pic: Richard Sellers/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

North Londoners beat Worcester Warriors in Premiership Rugby Cup last weekend

Saracens return to Gallagher Premiership action on Saturday when they play host to Leicester Tigers.

The north Londoners have spent the past few weeks playing in the Premiership Rugby Cup and have certainly enjoyed their time in that competition.

A victory over Harlequins in their final pool stage game at the end of January saw Sarries make it through to the semi-finals of the cup.

The Allianz Park outfit came up against top seeds Worcester Warriors away from home in the final four, but upset the odds to record a 38-22 success to go through.

Saracens will now face Northampton Saints in the final, which will take place at Franklin’s Gardens on March 17.

Before that, however, comes the small matter of another Gallagher Premiership clash for the north Londoners as they welcome Leicester this weekend.

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Though it is a blank weekend in the Guinness Six Nations, Mark McCall’s men are likely to be without many of their international stars for Saturday’s game.

That means the likes of England’s Owen Farrell, Jamie George, George Kruis and Billy Vunipola, Wales’ Liam Williams and Scotland’s Sean Maitland will all be unavailable for Sarries as they bid to tame the Tigers.

Two players who will definitely miss out are Mako Vunipola and Maro Itoje after they sustained injuries while on England duty in the opening rounds of the Six Nations.

While Itoje is expected back before the end of the Six Nations, the news concerning Vunipola is not so good.

The prop has been ruled out for 10 weeks with ankle ligament injury, meaning he will miss the remainder of the Six Nations.

The 28-year-old has also been ruled out of Saracens’ Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors on March 30 and faces a race against time to be fit for the semi-finals on the weekend of April 19-21 should the north Londoners advance.

The loss of Vunipola is a huge blow for both England and Saracens as the season heads towards its climax.

News of Vuinpola’s injury could hand Richard Barrington an extended run in the first team and he will hope to prove his worth.