Scots Jim Hamilton and Duncan Taylor have been named on the Saracens bench for the European Rugby Champions Cup final with Clermont Auvergne on Saturday at BT Murrayfield (5pm).
The English side are looking to retain their trophy and the duo will be pleased to be in the 23, but there is no place for Kelly Brown and Sean Maitland is injured.
“It takes a certain type of club to keep coming back as they have done. They are constantly in the top two in the TOP14 and reaching the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup,” Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall, said of Clermont.
“There is something different about them compared to other French teams. They have been together for a long time and have a real core to them – you can see the spirit.
“In terms of their rugby, they have everything – a fantastic pack of forwards and a good scrum; half-backs who manage and control games and then some real firepower in the back line.”
One man who knows all about both teams is the Clermont wing Dave Strettle.
The two sides have clashed seven times in the tournament before and he has figured in all of them.
But for the first time the England wing will be in Clermont colours. He was a loser with Saracens in the 2014 final against RC Toulon and is looking to break his European duck in the Scottish capital.
A try scorer and try maker in the semi-final win over Leinster Rugby, Strettle is still included in the Saracens team ‘WhatsApp’ group. Not that anything is going to be given away before the big day.
“Saracens don’t have a bad day, they are consistently good. They are for me the number one team in Europe,” said Strettle.
“However, Clermont’s good days are better than Saracens’ good days. So, if we are playing well, we can win.”
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