Owen Farrell David Kelly: ‘Spineless Saracens show lack of respect to Munster, the fans and the Champions Cup’

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Owen Farrell Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has picked a weakened team to face Munster at Thomond Park. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has picked a weakened team to face Munster at Thomond Park. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

AS if Saracens’ sport wasn’t sufficiently tainted by their domestic deceit, conceit will follow them across the Irish Sea to Thomond Park.

A December evening in the Limerick cathedral should represent an opportunity to celebrate the very best of what this wonderful European competition stands for.

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And, for the majority of the natives at least, this first leg of the traditional December double-header will suffice.

But for many others, the decision of the reigning champions to dilute their starting line-up smacks of utter indifference at the very least, perhaps teetering towards the brink of downright disrespect.

This should have been the marquee fixture of the weekend but instead it has been reduced to a sham exercise as Mark McCall preserves his heavy-hitters for next week’s rematch.

At least we presume that is the case. Their title defence should be in tatters shortly after seven o’clock this evening.

Munster, after slipping up at home last time, would be in the gravest peril of an exit themselves were they to do so against a side who they have patently struggled to match in two successive knockout meetings.

That is irrelevant now; if Munster cannot execute today’s result they have no business in even contemplating a sustained challenge for a title they last won in 2008.

Saracens are not breaking any rules, of course; the squad they have selected is fully compliant with the registered list lodged with the competition organisers. But their stance leaves a bitter taste in the mou

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