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Forwards hold the key in Euro clash according to Zondagh
November 27, 1999

Saracens director of rugby Alan Zondagh is preparing his side for a battle royal in the forwards when they take on Munster at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

After their heartbreaking defeat to Colomiers last week Sarries have gone back to the drawing board, knowing that the game at Vicarage Road will be typically physical.

Zondagh said: "The game against Munster is going to be extremely testing for us and we will have to be ready for it.

"We are well aware of how tough they're going to be up front and that is going to be where much of the game is won."


Zondagh has made several changes to the team which went down by three points to the French side and believes they will bring the necessary rewards.

Mark Mapletoft returns from injury to take his place at full-back, while Rob
Thirlby switches to the wing in place of Darragh O'Mahony.

Jeremy Thomson starts at inside centre with Ben Johnston moving to the bench
and Julian White returns after recovering quickly from the injury sustained against Gloucester.

"We have been working very hard on tightening up our game and preparation has gone very well.

"The return to fitness of Mark Mapletoft and Julian White helps to strengthen the squad because the game promises to be a very physical affair."

Saracens know they must win if they are to keep their hopes of qualification alive and must capitalise on home advantage.

Zondagh said, "We have given away games in the dying minutes this season and we can't afford to give away any more like that.

"We have been focussing on playing for 90 minutes. We've picked a squad of 22
that we think can take Munster on and make sure that we get our first European points.

"But it is never easy against sides like this, and Munster are unbeaten in
their last nine games, and they put 36 points on Pontypridd last week."

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