England stars return for Saracens in Premiership clash against Bath

Owen Farrell starts at fly-half for Saracens
Owen Farrell starts at fly-half for Saracens

Saracens have received a much-needed boost ahead of their fifth-round clash of the Gallagher Premiership against Bath Rugby with England internationals making a return to the matchday squad.

Owen Farrell, who led England to the World Cup final starts at fly-half forming a halfback partnership with Richard Wigglesworth. Elliot Daly retains his place at fullback while Billy and Mako Vunipola start at number eight and hooker respectively.

George Kruis will form second row partnership with Will Skelton. Brad Barritt and Duncan Taylor form centre partnership while Sean Maitland and Alex Lewington are at wings.

Saracens were docked 35 points in the Premiership table for salary cap breach offence and as a result they are at the bottom of the table behind 11th placed Leicester Tigers by 26 points but director of rugby Mark McCall is confident of turning things around.

"On the field this year has gone really well," he said.

"If the table was different we would be third with 13 points from the four games with a bucketload of players who couldn't play because they were at the World Cup or senior players like Brad Barritt, Alex Goode and Michael Rhodes who were all injured.

"For us to win three out of four, and two away wins with that young side at Welford Road and Kingsholm, was fantastic. There are a lot of people who have been forced in there because of the injuries, like young Manu Vunipola.

"The seven weeks have gone really well and a lot of them know we are going to rotate extensively, so they are going to get perhaps more playing opportunities than they would have otherwise got."

Saracens starting XV: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Will Skelton, 5 George Kruis, 6 Maro Itoje, 7 Jackson Wray, 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Richard Barrington, Vincent Koch, Nick Isiekwe, Ben Earl, Ben Spencer, Manu Vunipola, Nick Tompkins