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Saracens and Sale Sharks do battle at Twickenham in what promises to be an intriguing Gallagher Premiership final with silverware up for grabs in the final game of England’s domestic rugby season.
Five-time champions Saracens have made Twickenham almost a second home in recent years, although they were edged out by Leicester Tigers in a dramatic final 12 months ago, and it is now four years since they last lifted the title after being relegated to the Championship for salary cap breaches.
The wait for Sale has been considerably longer, however. The northern powerhouse are contesting their first Gallagher Premiership final for 17 years and that 2006 contest was the only time they have reached the showpiece, compared to eight appearances for Sarries.
Players like Jason Robinson, Mark Cueto, Charlie Hodgson and Sebastien Chabal starred in a 45-20 mauling of Leicester in the 2006 final and Sharks have called on the experience of legendary Manchester United manager to inspire the troops this week.
Here’s everything you need to know about the final:
When is the Gallagher Premiership final?
Saracens vs Sale Sharks is due to kick-off at 3pm on Saturday May 27th at Twickenham Stadium in London.
How can I watch it?
For the first time, the Premiership final will be broadcast on both terrestrial and pay TV. The game will be shown on ITV 1, with coverage starting at 2.25pm and registered users can also stream the game online with ITVX.
If you prefer, BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate will also be showing the final and their coverage gets underway an hour before kick-off at 2pm.
What is the team news?
Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson has made one enforced change from the side that beat Leicester in the semi-finals, with flanker Sam Dugdale replacing an injured Ben Curry, while No 8 Jono Ross skippers the Sharks on his final appearance before retirement.
It means a Twickenham chance for home-grown northern talent like full-back Joe Carpenter, wing Arron Reed and scrum-half Gus Warr, while the only change on the bench sees former Saracen Tom Ellis named in place of Dan du Preez, who will undergo surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
Saracens boss Mark McCall also makes one switch after the play-offs, with loosehead prop Eroni Mawi preferred to England international Maku Vunipola, who is among the replacements.
Jackson Wray is at the base of the scrum and will want to go out on a high as he makes his 309th and final Saracens appearance after over a decade of service to the club.
Saracens XV: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Max Malins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ivan Van Zyl; 1 Eroni Mawi, 2 Jamie George, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Hugh Tizard, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Jackson Wray
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Toby Knight, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Elliot Daly
Sale Sharks XV: 15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Rob du Preez, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Arron Reed, 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Jean-Luc du Preez, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Tom Curry, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jono Ross (C).
Replacements: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Bevan Rodd, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Tom Ellis, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Sam James, 23. Tom O’Flaherty
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