Gallagher Premiership: Second Saracens debut for David Strettle ahead of opening clash with Newcastle Falcons

PUBLISHED: 10:48 01 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 01 September 2018

Saracens' fans will be hoping for more of the same when David Strettle makes his second debut away to Newcastle Falcons in the Gallagher Premiership. Picture: Paul Harding/PA

Saracens' fans will be hoping for more of the same when David Strettle makes his second debut away to Newcastle Falcons in the Gallagher Premiership. Picture: Paul Harding/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

David Strettle will make his second Saracens debut against Newcastle Falcons in the opening round of the Gallagher Premiership campaign.

The veteran winger, whose last competitive game for Sarries came in 2015 final win over Bath, scored twice in pre-season and lines up on the right flank.

Fellow new recruit Alex Lewington will make his first appearance for the Men in Black off the bench.

Strettle is one of five changes from the side that started the Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham in May.

Australia international Will Skelton plus Mike Rhodes and Ben Earl start in the forwards, with St Albans’ Nick Isiekwe dropping to the replacements bench.

The final change hands the number nine jersey to Ben Spencer with Richard Wigglesworth also being named among the substitutes.

The Falcons, last year’s surprise package, hand a first start to flying winger Adam Radwan.

The 20-year-old former Billingham junior has been in sensational form during pre-season, scoring in all three.

He forms part of a side which sees a club debut for prop Logovi’i Mulipola, the vastly-experienced Samoan having joined from Leicester Tigers, and like Strettle, a second debut for hooker George McGuigan.

Will Welch captains a Newcastle side looking to build on last season’s fourth-placed Premiership finish, their highest in 20 years, while prop Jack Payne is set to make his Premiership debut after being named among the replacements.

Last year’s game between the two took place thousands of miles away from Kingston Park, being held in Philadelphia, USA, and Falcons’ director of rugby Dean Richards is looking forward to facing the Men in Black on Tyneside once again.

He said: “It’ll be nice to play them in Newcastle and the boys will be buzzing from the support they get from our home crowd.

“It looks like being a good attendance and the public up here are really getting behind the club, which just goes to show the rugby interest there is within the region.

“In terms of Saracens they play the least amount of rugby inside their own half out of any side in the league, so there’ll be a lot of ball in the air from them.

“But it’s effective, and it’s effective because they’ve got quality players and they’ve spent a huge amount of money on their squad.

“They’ve got a star-studded squad which plays a really simple, effective brand of rugby, and if that’s what it takes then so be it.

“You’ve got to take your hat off to them because they’re an outstanding team, they’re very well drilled and they’ve won a load of trophies in recent seasons.

“You can’t argue with that, and it should be a good game.”

Kick-off at Kingston Park tomorrow (Sunday) is at 3pm.

Saracens:

15. Alex Goode

14. David Strettle

13. Alex Lozowski

12. Brad Barritt ©

11. Sean Maitland

10. Owen Farrell

9. Ben Spencer

1. Mako Vunipola

2. Jamie George

3. Vincent Koch

4. Maro Itoje

5. Will Skelton

6. Michael Rhodes

7. Ben Earl

8. Jackson Wray

16. Christopher Tolofua

17. Richard Barrington

18. Juan Figallo

19. Nick Isiekwe

20. Sione Vailanu

21. Richard Wigglesworth

22. Nick Tompkins

23. Alex Lewington

Newcastle Falcons:

15 Simon Hammersley

14 Vereniki Goneva

13 Chris Harris

12 Josh Matavesi

11 Adam Radwan

10 Toby Flood

9 Sonatane Takulua

1 Sami Mavinga

2 George McGuigan

3 Logovi’i Mulipola

4 Calum Green

5 Will Witty

6 Mark Wilson

7 Will Welch (captain)

8 Callum Chick

Replacements

16 Santiago Socino

17 Adam Brocklebank

18 Jack Payne

19 Tevita Cavubati

20 Gary Graham

21 Sam Stuart

22 Joel Hodgson

23 Alex Tait

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