Kruis returns for Saracens vs. Saints

12:22 PM GMT

George Kruis will get one chance to impress Warren Gatland before the British & Irish Lions coach names his squad to tour New Zealand in June.

The England second row has been named to start for Saracens against Northampton Saints on Sunday in what will be the 27-year-old’s first game in 2017 having been sidelined since Christmas Eve with a knee injury.

Kruis returns in place of Maro Itoje who has been rested. Fellow England internationals Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola have also been given the weekend off by Mark McCall, with Munster awaiting Saracens in Dublin next week for a spot in the Champions Cup semifinals.

The battle in the second row will be an intriguing one with Kruis to line up against the main benefactor of his injury lay-off in the form of Saints lock Courtney Lawes.

Lawes thrived for England during the Six Nations in Kruis’ absence, and is another contender to be part of the Lions touring party.

England’s two best hookers will also go toe-to-toe at Stadium MK with Dylan Hartley to start for Northampton against Saracens’ Jamie George.

David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images

Elsewhere, Premiership leaders Wasps are bolstered by the return of James Haskell and Nathan Huges for their Easter Sunday clash with Bristol.

Joe Launchbury will captain Dai Young’s side, with Jimmy Gopperth once again favoured to wear the No. 10 jersey over Danny Cipriani.

Young isn’t taking Bristol likely, despite their position at the foot of the Premiership standings.

“Bristol are fighting for survival in the Premiership so it’s a dangerous time to be playing them.

“We’re expecting them to give it absolutely everything in a last chance saloon style scenario. It’s a massive game for both sides, with us needing to pick up points as we continue to battle for a home semifinal.”

Aviva Premiership Fixtures Round 20:

Harlequins vs. Exeter – Friday April 14

Worcester vs. Bath – Saturday April 15

Leicester vs. Newcastle – Saturday April 15

Gloucester vs. Sale – Saturday April 15

Bristol vs. Wasps – Sunday April 16

Northampton vs. Saracens – Sunday April 16

Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/19156169/england-second-row-george-kruis-returns-saracens-owen-farrell-mako-vunipola-maro-itoje-rested
Kruis returns for Saracens vs. Saints
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