All you need to know about the Sixways showpiece, including how to watch
Saracens v Exeter Premier 15s Final Preview
As festivities to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee take place across the country, there will be another party at Sixways on Friday afternoon – but who will be celebrating?
Saracens will be hoping to lift the Allianz Premier 15s trophy for the third time having won back-to-back-titles in 2018 and 2019 before losing to Harlequins in last year’s final.
Exeter Chiefs, who have only been playing in the women’s top flight for two years, have disrupted the Sarries-Quins duopoly by reaching the final and are aiming to become the first side to win the league-and-cup double having triumphed in the inaugural Allianz Cup earlier this season.
The last time these two sides met was less than a month ago and Chiefs inflicted a record 54-12 defeat on Saracens at Sandy Park in the penultimate round of the regular season.
The Londoners had beaten Exeter 32-19 at StoneX Stadium in October but rested a few of their internationals post-Six Nations and Exeter, who also beat Sarries at home last season, put in an impressive performance.
This final will surely be a much tighter affair. Saracens and Exeter finished first and second in the table respectively, have teams packed with Test players and are extremely clinical when in the opposition 22.
Physicality and a strong driving maul are hallmarks of both sides, but they have threats in the back-line too. Alev Kelter is a key figure for Sarries with her powerful runs and accurate goalkicking while fellow USA international Jennine Detiveaux excels on the wing for Chiefs.
Marlie Packer versus Kate Zackary is an intriguing battle at No 8 too. Inspirational players for their respective teams, they will be looking to make their mark in the tight exchanges and with ball in hand.
Saracens are favourites, particularly given their history in this competition, but this Exeter team have shown an impressive spirit since their formation – they had the belief to recover from going behind in the final minutes of the semi-final against Bristol to score a late match-winning try – and that will surely be on display at Sixways.
Watch some analysis ahead of the Saracens v Exeter Premier 15s final here and below we have details of how to watch the match as well as team news and coaches’ views.
How to watch Saracens v Exeter
There are several options for you to watch the Premier 15s final. Premier15s.com will have a Saracens v Exeter live stream from 2.40pm and the match is also available on BBC iPlayer – both FREE options.
Saracens v Exeter is also live on BT Sport 1 from 2.30pm. If you don’t have a BT Sport contract but want to watch the final on BT don’t worry. BT Sport has a contract-free monthly pass that allows you to get instant access to all four of their sport channels for just £25.
What’s the big team news?
Both coaches have been able to name unchanged starting XVs from those that won their respective semi-finals – Saracens against Harlequins and Exeter against Bristol.
Marlie Packer remains at No 8 for Sarries with Poppy Cleall at lock, and Holly Aitchison is at fly-half with Zoe Harrison still injured. The London club is also boosted by the return of Georgia Evans from injury, the back-rower amongst the replacements.
Both sides feature USA and Canada players, who are running out in this final rather than playing in Monday’s opening match in the Pacific Four Series in New Zealand.
There is also a notable milestone for Exeter fly-half Patricia Garcia, the Spain international, who will be playing her final game of pro rugby.
What have the coaches said?
Saracens head coach Alex Austerberry: “Everyone’s obviously aware of what’s at stake, but it’s a case of how we manage the key moments, where you’re under the pump, how you win that momentum back, then seize the momentum and make the most of it when things aren’t going your way.
“We want to be back at the top of the game and we looked after that in the regular season. We played well in the semi-final and now it comes down to that one-off game where, hopefully, we’ll be holding a cup at the end rather than watching someone else lift it.”
Exeter head coach Susie Appleby: “We’re good enough to win it. Saracens are an excellent team and finals can throw up anything, but we’ve talked about being Chiefs and being who we are and representing ourselves the best we can. It brings confidence but not overconfidence.
“You work hard for a final. Let’s go for it! Let’s get out there, let’s be ourselves and let’s see where it takes us.”
What time is kick-off and who is the referee?
Saracens v Exeter will kick off at 3pm UK & Ireland time on Friday 3 June at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium. Premier 15s final tickets are still available.
Harry Walbaum is the referee for this final.
What are the line-ups?
Saracens: Sarah McKenna; Alysha Corrigan, Cara Wardle, Alev Kelter, Lotte Clapp (co-captain); Holly Aitchison, Ella Wyrwas; Hannah Botterman, May Campbell, Kelsey Clifford, Fiona McIntosh, Poppy Cleall, Mackenzie Carson, Vicky Fleetwood, Marlie Packer (co-captain).
Replacements: Kat Evans, Donna Rose, Alex Ellis, Sonia Green, Georgia Evans, Anna Goddard, Hannah Casey, Tilly Vaughan-Fowler.
Exeter Chiefs: Merryn Doidge; Eilidh Sinclair, Kanako Kobayashi, Gabby Cantorna, Jennine Detiveaux; Patricia Garcia, Flo Robinson; Hope Rogers, Emily Tuttosi, Daleaka Menin, Nichola Fryday, Linde van der Velden, Poppy Leitch (co-captain), Rachel Johnson, Kate Zackary (co-captain).
Replacements: Clara Nielson, McKinley Hunt, Michaella Roberts, Gabrielle Senft, Ebony Jefferies, Brooke Bradley, Megan Foster, Nancy McGillivray.
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.