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    Exeter face Saracens in Premier 15s final repeat

    Exeter have won five of six matches in the Premier 15s this season
    Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter Date: Saturday, 14 January Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
    Coverage: Watch live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.

    Exeter head coach Susie Appleby says her side are not short of motivation as they prepare for Saturday’s repeat of the 2022 Premier 15s final, which Chiefs lost to Saracens.

    Sarries have been a different side this season – fifth in the table instead of occupying the top spots as usual.

    Saracens head coach Alex Austerberry admits they still need some “tuning”.

    In contrast, Exeter are second in the table, four points behind Gloucester-Hartpury after five wins in a row.

    Sarries have only failed to win the Premier 15s title once since the league began in 2017 and beat first-time-finalists Exeter 43-21 in last season’s decider.

    After some mixed results at the start of this term, the return of Saracens’ many England stars last weekend was the boost the reigning champions needed.

    They travel to Sandy Park – where they lost 54-12 to Exeter in May 2022 – bolstered by the presence of Red Roses Marlie Packer, Leanne Infante, Holly Aitchison, Poppy Cleall and Jess Breach.

    Austerberry says it is a “tough place to go” but added that the Saracens “engine ticked over well” in an 89-0 win against DMP Sharks last weekend – their third in five games this season.

    Exeter’s Appleby said Saracens are “starting to find their groove again”, adding: “Saracens come with a huge reputation, they’re the champions, they beat us in the final. I need no more motivation for our girls to get up for that.”

    Appleby has given a first start to Australia wing Lori Cramer and Kate Zackary moves to centre having previously played at number eight.

    Scrum-half Infante makes her first start for Saracens since rejoining the club in the summer, with Aitchison moving from centre to fly-half in the absence of England star Zoe Harrison.

    Line-ups

    Exeter: Doidge; Cramer, Zackary, Cantorna, MacDonald; McGoverne, Robinson; Rogers, Moloney, Menin, Fryday, Leitch (capt), Jefferies, Allen, Johnson.

    Replacements: Tuttosi, Turani, Jacoby, Van der Velden, McMahon, Bradley, Wilkins, McGillivray.

    Saracens: McKenna; Breach, Gregson, Casey, Clapp (capt); Aitchison, Infante; Clifford, Campbell, Ellis, McIntosh, McMillan, Moore, Packer (capt), Cleall.

    Replacements: Rettie, Carson, Gooding, Jacobs, Evans, Wyrwas, Alejandro, Grant.

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