Rugby

Farrell fit for Premiership final

2016-05-27 20:30
Owen Farrell (File)

London - Saracens and England star Owen Farrell has been passed fit for Saturday's Premiership final against Exeter at Twickenham following a rib injury.

Farrell, who played in the centres in the England side that won the Six Nations with a grand slam, will start in his favoured position of flyhalf after going off early following two big hits during Saracens' 44-17 semi-final win over Leicester last weekend.

Farrell's injury was also a concern ahead of England's three-test tour of Australia next month, although national coach Eddie Jones was always confident his first-choice goal-kicker would be fit in time.

Now Farrell will try to steer defending Premiership champions Saracens to an English and European double following their 21-9 Champions Cup final win over Paris-based Racing 92 in Lyon earlier this month.

Victory on Saturday would see London club Saracens become the first team since Leicester in 2010 to retain the English Premiership title.

However, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "Exeter are a top side and they've proven that over the course of the season."

Scotland centre Duncan Taylor is fit to partner captain Brad Barritt in Saracens' midfield, while England prop Mako Vunipola will make his 100th Saracens appearance on Saturday, starting in the front-row alongside South Africans Schalk Brits and Petrus du Plessis.

England locks Maro Itoje and George Kruis will be in the second row, with Premiership record points-scorer and former Red Rose flyhalf Charlie Hodgson set for a last appearance off the bench before retirement.

"Our challenge at the start of the week was to be as prepared as we could be and we've had a good couple of days but what happens on Saturday is the important thing," said McCall.

"It promises to be a great final."

Exeter coach Rob Baxter named the same starting XV he fielded for the west country club's 34-23 home semi-final win over Wasps at Sandy Park.

This weekend's match will be Exeter's first appearance in the Premiership final but Baxter said: "Saturday is not the end of our journey as a club.

"As a club we want to be in a lot more of these big games."

Read more on:    england  |  saracens  |  owen farrell  |  rugby
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