England star Owen Farrell will make his first appearance of the season when Saracens launch their European Champions Cup campaign against Toulon on Saturday.
Farrell, who has been troubled by a back and hip injury, missed Saracens’ opening six Aviva Premiership games.
But he returns to fly-half duty for the eagerly-awaited pool clash at Stade Felix-Mayol, which will also give England head coach Eddie Jones a boost just four weeks before the autumn Test series opener against South Africa.
Farrell replaces Alex Lozowski, while centre Brad Barritt skippers a side that also includes the likes of Alex Goode, Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Billy Vunipola.
Flanker Jackson Wray lines up for the 150th time in Saracens colours, with his back-row colleague — South African World Cup winner Schalk Burger — making a European debut.
In the European Challenge Cup, , England wing Jonny May will make his comeback after a 10-month injury absence when Gloucester begin their campaign against Bayonne.
May, who has scored six tries in 19 Tests, has been sidelined since he suffered a serious knee injury during Gloucester’s Aviva Premiership encounter against Harlequins at Twickenham last December.
Bath also head to France this weekend, facing Pau on Saturday night, with rugby director Todd Blackadder handing Wales international Rhys Priestland a start at fly-half instead of George Ford.
“It is great to have the likes of Guy Mercer, Luke Charteris and Rhys Priestland back. All three are experienced players who will give us a new energy going into the game,” Blackadder said.
Worcester, meanwhile, face Enisei-STM at the Slava Stadium in Moscow on Saturday, with the Warriors parading a number of younger prospects such as centre Will Butler, full-back Josh Adams, hooker Matti Williams and lock Charlie Hewitt.
Also in Challenge Cup action on Saturday are Edinburgh, who travel to Romania for an appointment with Timisoara Saracens, and Treviso have home advantage against in-form French Top 14 side La Rochelle.
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/17792052/england-saracens-owen-farrell-make-first-start-season-toulon
Farrell starts for Saracens at Toulon
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