Sarries debut new centre pair against Viadana
January 16, 2009
Kameli Ratuvou starts at outside-centre for Saracens © Getty Images
Saracens host Viadana at Vicarage Road on Saturday with the knowledge that a win will give them a home quarter final in the European Challenge Cup.
Sarrie currently possess a 100% record in this season's tournament, and are yet to concede a try. Director of Rugby Eddie Jones has selected a new centre-partnership with Fiji international Kameli Ratuvou partnering Adam Powell, while Moses Rauluni slots in at scrum-half in place of the injured Neil de Kock.
"Kameli is a regular at outside centre for Fiji and it's a position he enjoys playing," explained Jones. "We've not been creating as much as we could have in that area of the pitch so his presence will give us increased attacking options.
"However, we have to realise that we face an opponent on Sunday that can still qualify for this tournament. In Italy earlier this season, it was only in the closing stages of the game that we were able to build a comfortable lead. They were particularly strong in the contact area and their coach Jim Love has assembled a quality squad that has no shortage of experience, making them one of the leading clubs in Italy.
"Our objective for this tournament has always been to qualify for the knockout stages and secure a home quarter-final in the competition and a win on Sunday will go a long way to achieving that aim."
Viadana include Italy international Kaine Robertson on the wing, while Pablo Canavosio starts at scrum-half. Former Bristol lock Sean Hohneck starts in the second row, with Gavin Quinnell occupying the No.8 jersey.
Saracens: Chris Wyles, Richard Haughton, Kameli Ratuvou, Adam Powell, Noah Cato, Glen Jackson, Mosese Rauluni, Matias Aguero, Fabio Ongaro, Census Johnston, Steve Borthwick, Chris Jack, Wikus van Heerden, Andy Saull, Ben Skirving,
Replacements: Andy Kyriacou, Nick Lloyd, Cobus Visagie, Hugh Vyvyan, Mickey Wilson, Gordon Ross, Alex Goode
Viadana: Steven Bortolussi, Kaine Robertson, Garry Law, Sam Cox, Isy Coalala, Charles Hore, Pablo Canavosio, Luigi Milani, Roberto Santamaria, Ignacio Rouyet, Sean Hohneck, Quintin Geldenhuys, Jaco Erasmus, Aldo Birchall, Gavin Quinnell
Replacements: Juan Battilana, Mattia Cagna, Joshua Sole, Phil Murphy, Lance Persico, Matthew Harvey, Andrea Accorsi
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game