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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

Inspirational Borthwick fit for Saracens as Wilkinson leads Toulon

Mark McCall’s captain has been passed fit to face a star-studded Toulon team in the Heineken Cup final.

Matt Giteau starts at inside centre for Toulon.
Matt Giteau starts at inside centre for Toulon.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

SARACENS CAPTAIN STEVE Borthwick has recovered from a chest injury to lead his side in tomorrow’s Heineken Cup final at the Millenium Stadium [KO 5.00pm].

Irish head coach Mark McCall had been concerned that he would be without his captain for the historic occasion, but has been able to name him in the second row alongside Alistair Hargreaves.

Sarries have an all-international front row in Mako Vunipola, Matt Stevens and electric hooker Schalk Brits. Billy Vunipola is at No. 8, with ERC Player of the Season nominee Jacques Burger and Kelly Brown in the flanker positions.

Richard Wigglesworth and England out-half Owen Farrell will direct the team in the halfbacks slots, while Brad Barritt and Marcelo Bosch make up a direct, defensively expert midfield pairing.

The in-form Alex Goode lines out at fullback, with England wings Chris Ashton and David Strettle completing the back three. There is no place for Irish lock Eoin Sheriff in the match-day squad.

Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell lines up at out-half for Sarries.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Meanwhile, there are no surprises in Toulon’s starting XV, as Bernard Laporte names a team laden with international experience.

Jonny Wilkinson captains the side on the occasion of his second last game before retirement from playing, while former All Blacks lock Ali Williams has to be content with a place on the bench, as Danie Russouw starts in the second row alongside Bakkies Botha.

Mathieu Bastareaud and Matt Giteau continue their effective partnership in midfield, while Bryan Habana and Drew Mitchell provide the fire-power on the wings.

Toulon: Delon Armitage; Drew Mitchell, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Bryan Habana; Jonny Wilkinson (capt.), Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Xavier Chiocci, Craig Burden, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw; Juan Smith, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Steffon Armitage.

Replacements: Jean-Charles Orioli, Alexandre Menini, Martin Castrogiovanni, Ali Williams, Virgile Bruni, Maxime Mermoz, Michael Claassens, Jocelino Suta.

Saracens: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens; Steve Borthwick (capt.), Alistair Hargreaves; Kelly Brown, Jacques Burger, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Richard Barrington, James Johnston, Mouritz Botha, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Chris Wyles.

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