Saracens Women v Harlequins Ladies: Premier 15s final preview

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Saracens Women v Harlequins Ladies: Premier 15s final preview
Captain Lotte Clapp is one of nine Saracens players who were involved in last year’s final win over Harlequins
Premier 15s final: Saracens v Harlequins
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton Date: Saturday, 27 April Kick-off: 17:45 BST
Coverage: Follow radio and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Harlequins Ladies’ England back row Shaunagh Brown will miss Saturday’s Premier 15s final after having surgery on a hamstring injury.

Fiona Fletcher replaces Brown at blind-side flanker, with Chloe Butler starting in the second row.

Saracens make one change from the team that beat Wasps in the semi-final, with Lauren Newman coming into the back row.

England internationals Zoe Harrison and Poppy Cleall start at fly-half and number eight respectively.

However, Saracens are without the influential Red Rose forward trio of Bryony Cleall, Vicky Fleetwood and Marlie Packer through injury.

International team-mate Rachael Burford captains Quins, with Jess Breach, who has scored 20 tries in seven games for England, on the wing.

The match is a repeat of last year’s final, which Saracens narrowly won 24-20.

Harlequins inflicted Saracens’ only defeat of the season, beating the champions 20-17 at the Twickenham Stoop in October. Saracens won a closely fought reverse fixture 31-28 at Allianz Park in January.

Saracens lifted the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s title last year after final victory over Quins

Saracens head coach Alex Austerberry: “I fear anyone in a Harlequins shirt. I’ve worked with Jess Breach, we know that she’s a quick threat. You look at their front five and their pack in general.

“Someone like Vickii Cornborough is a key figure, Jade Konkel. You look throughout their team and they’ve got quality. Gone are the days when one or two players will win you the game.”

Harlequins co-head coach Gary Street: “I am hugely proud of the endeavour and the self-belief that this squad has shown throughout the season to get to this point, and this weekend is a chance for us to take another enormous step forward.

“Saracens are a quality outfit, and I know they will bring out the best in us on the field. We head to Northampton fully aware of the challenge they pose but confident in our own ability to be able to beat any team on any surface and at any time.”

Saracens: McKenna; Gregson, Casey, Cattell, Clapp (c); Harrison, Gulliver; Perry, Campbell, Botterman; Green, Galligan, Rettie, Newman, Cleall.

Replacements: Duffy, Layola, Searcy, Bebbington, Swords, Vistisen, Miell.

Harlequins: Scott, Cowell, Camara, Burford (c), Breach; Green, Riley; Cornborough Catlin, Edwards, Scott, Butler, Fletcher, Sommer, Konkel.

Replacements: Lyons, Viksten, McCormack, Saynor, Packer, Myers, Wilcock.

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