Premiership: Gloucester v Saracens

premiership gloucester v saracens - Premiership: Gloucester v Saracens
Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer came off the bench during England’s World Cup final defeat by South Africa
Gallagher Premiership
Venue: Kingsholm Stadium Date: Saturday, 9 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website

Saracens travel to Gloucester as the defending Premiership champions play their first game since being sanctioned for breaching salary cap regulations during the past three seasons.

Sarries are appealing against their punishment, which is a 35-point deduction and a fine of £5.36m.

The north London side remain without most of their England contingent for the trip to Kingsholm.

However, Jack Singleton and Ben Spencer are named among the replacements.

Scrum-half Spencer came off the bench during the World Cup final defeat by South Africa in Japan last Saturday.

Hooker Singleton, who featured in England’s pool-stage win over the USA, is in line to make his senior debut for Sarries, having rejoined his boyhood club from Worcester Warriors over the summer.

Saracens make five changes to the side which beat London Irish as centre Nick Tompkins and wing Alex Lewington start, while prop Ralph Adams-Hale, hooker Joe Gray and flanker Calum Clark come into the forward pack.

Gloucester make six changes to the side beaten at Leicester Tigers last time out.

Lock Freddie Clarke replaces Ed Slater, who has a foot injury, while flankers Jaco Kriel and Lewis Ludlow return.

Callum Braley comes in at scrum-half, Chris Harris makes his first start for the club at outside centre and Jason Woodward returns at full-back, with Tom Marshall shifting to the wing.

Saracens, who have also won three of the past four European Champions Cups, have described the sanctions for their breaches as “heavy-handed”.

Had the points deduction been applied immediately, Mark McCall’s side would drop from fourth to bottom of the Premiership with -26 points.

As it stands, Sarries head into the game one point and one place behind the Cherry and Whites in the table.

Gloucester: Woodward; Marshall, Harris, Atkinson, Thorley; Cipriani, Braley; Hohneck, Marais, Balmain, Clarke, Grobler, Kriel, Ludlow, Morgan (capt).

Replacements: Fourie, Rapava Ruskin, Ford-Robinson, Ackermann, Polledri, Simpson, Twelvetrees, Banahan.

Saracens: Gallagher; Maitland, Taylor, Tompkins, Lewington; Manu Vunipola, Wigglesworth; Adams-Hale, Gray, Lamositele, Skelton, Isiekwe, Clark, Earl, Wray (capt).

Replacements: Singleton, Barrington, Wainwright, Kpoku, Hunter-Hill, Spencer, Lozowski, Segun.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.

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