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Saracens name Squad for Zurich Wildcard Final

29 May 2003

Head Coach Wayne Shelford announces a full strength squad this afternoon to face Leicester Tigers in Saturday's Zurich Wildcard Final, keeping his cards pretty close to his chest as the Men in Black target a place in next season's Heineken Cup.

The pack retains its combative look with prop duo David Flatman and Christian Califano likely to start, and if Matt Cairns joins them it will be the last chance the trio will play together at the club before they leave for pastures new.

The only other question that needs an answer is will Shelford switch from the guile of Andy Goode to the power of Nicky Little at fly half. The former Tiger has been on top form of late but is surely to be a target of his former team mates whereas Little's last outing against the Midlanders saw him perform well.

"I'm expecting nothing short of all out war on Saturday," explained Shelford. "Leicester are a proud side and will not want to end a disappointing season by their high standards by crashing out of the Heineken Cup.

"Make no mistake, we know we deserve to be where we are and the boys are really up for this one. I've no doubt that all 15 men on pitch will front up for this final 80 minutes and if we put in the performance we know we can, then the spoils will be ours, but Leicester will be doing and saying the same.

"We have announced a squad today because some of the positions are too close to call. This is strongest squad we've had all season and we have to weigh up all our options, although we don't want to make too many changes as the guys have been playing well together of late."

The following squad has been selected to play Leicester Tigers in the Zurich Wildcard Final at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday 31st May, kick off 12.30.

Forwards 1 Christian Califano* 2 David Flatman * 3 Johnny Marsters* 4 Mike Storey 5 Joe Ross 6 Robbie Russell* 7 Matt Cairns 8 Craig Yandell 9 Abdel Benazzi* 10 Stuart Hooper 11 Tony Roques 12 Richard Hill* 13 Kris Chesney 14 Ben Skirving 15 Ben Russell

Backs 16 Kyran Bracken* 17 Morgan Williams* 18 Dan Kirton 19 Andy Goode 20 Nicky Little* 21 Kevin Sorrell 22 Tim Horan* 23 Ben Johnston* 24 Darragh O'Mahony* 25 Richard Haughton 26 Nathan McAvoy 27 Thomas Castignede*