London Irish v Saracens

The Men in Black will look to secure a home semi-final with victory at the Madjeski Stadium against bottom-of-the-table London Irish on Sunday.

Saracens guaranteed their place in the play-offs with their 41-6 win against Bath a fortnight ago, but still require four points to ensure that Allianz Park is the venue of their play-off semi-final.

With just seven points separating the five teams below Saracens, it still remains to be seen who Sarries’ opponents will be. Wasps, Newcastle Falcons, Leicester Tigers, Gloucester and Sale Sharks will all still fancy their chances of cementing a top four spot.

Saracens have now made it nine consecutive seasons that they have finished in a top-four position and they come into Sunday on the back of three successive Premiership victories.

Saracens last met London Irish in October and they registered a convincing 44-13 victory. Mark McCall’s men have come out on top in their last five meetings, not losing a game to the Exiles since 2014.

London Irish’s 45-5 defeat to league-leaders Exeter last time out all but confirmed their place in the Championship next season, with nine points between them and 11th place Worcester.

England number eight Billy Vunipola, who has been missing from action following a broken arm earlier in the season, has been tipped to make an appearance in the next couple of games as Saracens prepare for the play-offs.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said; “He's got every chance of being back for the London Irish game and if not definitely the Gloucester game, and hopefully he can get a couple games behind him before the play-offs come."


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