England stars inspire Saracens to top-of-the-table triumph


Saracens' returning England internationals made a significant impact as Mark McCall's side beat Exeter Chiefs 36-18 on Saturday to leapfrog their opponents at the top of the Premiership table.

Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola were among the try-scorers at Allianz Park for a home side also boosted by the availability of Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje and George Kruis.

Fly-half Farrell produced an inspirational display to claim man-of-the-match honours and subsequently told Saracens' official website: "Everyone was looking forward to this big game. The boys who have been away wanted to come back and add to the group.

"This group has had to front up recently and put in some hard yards [with so many players on Six Nations duty]. We wanted to come back and help push it on for the final stages of the season."

Sarries' other tries came courtesy of Jackson Wray, Alex Goode and Chris Wyles - the latter two each crossing on their 200th appearance for the club.

Having lost their two league meetings with Saracens this term, Exeter now sit second - three points off the pace with five rounds remaining.

While Farrell enjoyed a fine day, England team-mate George Ford missed four out of five kicks at goal for Bath, who nevertheless were able to edge out Gloucester 17-12 at Kingsholm thanks to Semesa Rokoduguni claiming his second try late on.

Rock-bottom London Irish were beaten 12-6 by 10th-placed Worcester Warriors at Sixways.