Tompkins returns for Saracens in Premiership final rematch with Tigers


aracens have made just two personnel changes to their starting lineup as they bid to continue their unbeaten start to the season against defending champions Leicester Tigers.

Nick Tompkins returns at centre after missing the win over Gloucester, while Callum Hunter-Hill slots in at second row, with Theo McFarland moving from lock to the back row as Andy Christie is consigned to the bench.

Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall has a triple injury boost in his replacements for the club’s third league game of the season. Italy prop Marco Riccioni looks set to return to competitive action after 11 months out following his ruptured ACL.

Also back on the bench after recovering from injury are Sean Maitland and Alex Goode. The match is a repeat of last term’s Premiership final, which the Tigers edged 15-12.

Saracens have had a perfect start to this season in winning two high-scoring affairs, although both were tight contests. They opened with a 30-27 victory over Harlequins at The Stoop and held off a spirited Gloucester in a 41-39 win at home last weekend.

England No8 Billy Vunipola has been at his influential best but warned his team-mates they would need to adapt to the challenge of the Tigers, who lost their season opener to Exeter before wins over Newcastle and Northampton.

Vunipola said: “This season we have a new focus on ourselves and how we can get better. We want to be a team that can adapt to anything and we want to play what’s in front of us, which we’ll have to do against a strong Leicester side.”

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