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Centre Matavesi returns for Saracens test
WORCESTER Warriors have received a midfield boost ahead of Friday night’s Aviva Premiership clash with Saracens at Sixways (8pm) after Josh Matavesi was released by Fiji.
Former Racing Metro and Exeter centre Matavesi is not required for his country’s tour clash with Georgia in Tblisi on Saturday, so will return to bolster Richard Hill’s back-line options.
Matavesi will now compete with Alex Grove and Jon Clarke for one of the centre berths as will his countryman Ravai Fatiaki who has also been released.
On-song winger David Lemi will again be unavailable for Worcester as he is in line to captain Samoa against France in Paris on Saturday, while Warriors hooker Aleki Lutui will be involved in Tonga’s match with Scotland at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie ground.
Prop Euan Murray is set to feature for Scotland against Tonga, but he will then link up with Worcester in time for the league clash with Harlequins.
Saracens will also be missing a whole host of first-team regulars due to international call-ups and injuries.
Six players — Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell, Alex Goode, Mouritz Botha and Mako Vunipola — are training with the England squad, although some of those may be released back to their club this week ahead of Saturday’s Twickenham showdown with South Africa.
England’s clash with the Springboks is also set to deprive Sarries of the services of their influential hooker Schalk Brits, who was on the bench for the 21-10 win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Scotland captain Kelly Brown is also poised to miss the Sixways clash as the back-rower prepares to lead his country against Tonga.
Meanwhile, with Farrell likely to be on England duty and fellow fly-half Charlie Hodgson ruled out by a fractured cheekbone, Nils Mordt is the favourite to step into the void.