Rugby Union

Heineken Cup: Ulster v Saracens match preview

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Ulster will gladly welcome Ruan Pienaar back to the team for their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens at Ravenhill on Saturday afternoon.

The scrum-half has been sidelined for almost a month with the injury he sustained against the Scarlets on 14 March, but has passed a fitness test and is included in the starting XV.

Saracens are also set to welcome back an injured star in the form of England fly-half Owen Farrell, who returns to the team for the first time since February after sustaining ankle ligament damage during England's Six Nations campaign.

The Aviva Premiership leaders go into the game in good form after extending their lead at the top to seven points with wins over Harlequins and Wasps.

However, Ulster, who won all six of their matches in the pool stage of the Heineken Cup, will represent a different challenge altogether.

Ulster will also be looking for revenge after they lost to Saracens 27-16 at Twickenham last season.

Saracens flanker Kelly Brown is not taking Ulster for granted despite last year's victory.

He told Sky Sports:  "All we can do is focus on ourselves, that's what we've being doing this week.

"We've looked at Ulster and identified their main strengths, which there are a lot of, and we have tried to find a few weaknesses of which there aren't that many.

"We want to go over there and impose ourselves on them and try to put them under as much pressure as we can."

Ulster: J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, T Bowe, P Jackson, R Pienaar, T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, R Wilson, N Williams, C Henry.

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, R Lutton, I Henderson, S Ferris, R Diack, P Marshall, C Gilroy.

Saracens: A Goode, C Ashton, D Taylor, B Barritt, D Strettle, O Farrell, R Wigglesworth, M Vunipola, S Brits, J Johnston, S Borthwick (capt), M Botha, B Vunipola, J Burger, E Joubert.

Replacements: J George, R Barrington, M Stevens, E Sheriff, K Brown, N de Kock, C Hodgson, C Wyles.Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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Topics:
Saracens
Rugby Union
Heineken Cup

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