Eight Lions start in Saracens Champions Cup semi with Munster

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Almost twenty percent of Warren Gatland's British & Irish Lions squad will go feature at the Aviva Stadium when Munster host Saracens in the Champions Cup semifinal on Saturday.

All six of Saracens' Lions start for Mark McCall's side with Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, George Kruis, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola in the engine room, while Owen Farrell will direct the ship from fly-half.

Lions and Munster scrum-half Conor Murray remains unavailable with injury, but coach Rassie Erasmus does have the services of Lions back-rowers CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony to call upon from the off.

Munster have beaten Saracens on five of the last seven occasions and McCall is expecting another bruising affair in Dublin.

"I think the players do know what's coming and what they are walking into and I think they are looking forward to it to be honest," McCall told Saracens website.

"It is going to be difficult at times and there are going to be times and we know there will be times in the match when we are under pressure and they've got all the momentum and we have got to show our experience in those moments, we've got to be resilient.

"We have got to understand we are not playing against super humans just because the crowd are noisy we are just playing against a team and we've got to wrestle the initiative back. But then when we get down there we have got to capitalise on any momentum we get."

Meanwhile former England international Chris Ashton will surpass Vincent Clerc as the all time leading try scorer in the European Cup if he finds the whitewash.


Munster: 15. Simon Zebo, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Jaco Taute, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Tyler Bleyendaal, 9. Duncan Williams; 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. John Ryan, 4. Donnacha Ryan, 5. Billy Holland, 6. Peter O'Mahony (c), 7. Tommy O'Donnell, 8. CJ Stander. Reserves: 16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Jamse Cronin, 18. Stephen Archer, 19. Dave O'Callaghan, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Ian Keatley, 22. Francis Saili, 23. Darren Sweetnam.

Saracens: 15. Alex Goode, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Brad Barrit (c), 11. Sean Maitland, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Vincent Koch, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Michael Rhodes, 7. Jackson Wray, 8. Billy Vunipola. Reserves: 16. Schalk Brits, 17. Titi Lamositele, 18. Petrus Du Plessis, 19. Jim Hamilton, 20. Schalk Burger, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Alex Lozowski, 23. Chris Wyles.