Sarries on red alert

Fri, 25 Apr 2014 19:37
Large owenfarrellsaracens

Clermont may have suffered the blow of losing captain Aurelien Rougerie on the eve of their European Cup semifinal but Saracens will not take them lightly.

Clermont may have suffered the blow of losing captain Aurelien Rougerie on the eve of their European Cup semifinal but Saracens will not take them lightly.

Rougerie is suffering from the hamstring strain he sustained during last Saturday's domestic Top 14 22-6 defeat by Racing Metro and his place in the centres has been taken by Benson Stanley.

"He's obviously a world-class player and he's been a phenomenal leader for Clermont like Steve (Borthwick) has been for us down the years," Saracens coach Mark McCall told a Twickenham news conference on Friday.

"But if you look down their teamsheet, there's vast experience so like a lot of top teams I think they can accommodate a loss like that.

"They've got Benson Stanley, who isn't too shabby, to take his place - it's a loss, I'm sure it is for them, but they've got a very experienced group."

France flank Julien Bonnaire will captain Clermont at Twickenham, with coach Vern Cotter saying his side had prepared for Rougerie's absence.

"We knew after the match against Racing it was not looking good," Cotter said.

"We worked with the others this week knowing he may not play," added the New Zealander, who will take charge of Scotland after the end of this season.

"It doesn't change much, you expect those things to happen - obviously someone else can come in, it changes things a bit but not too much."

Saracens, beaten at this stage last season by eventual champions Toulon - who play Irish province Munster in Sunday's second semifinal - had injury concerns of their own this week over Owen Farrell.

But the England flyhalf has been passed fit after suffering a foot injury against English Premiership rivals Northampton earlier this month.

But back-up pivot Charlie Hodgson, the former England international, has been ruled out with a calf problem and so fullback Alex Goode will deputise at flyhalf during the match should the need arise.

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6