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RugbyU: Saracens boss wary of Sivivatu threat

New Zealand's Sitiveni Sivivatu is the dangerman Saracens must contain in their European Cup semi-final with Clermont at Twickenham on Saturday, according to coach Mark McCall. Although it is nearly three years since Sivivatu won the last of his 45 All Blacks caps, the 32-year-old Fiji-born flyer remains one of the most potent attacking threats in European rugby.

RugbyU: Saracens, Northampton secure hard-fought wins

Saracens tightened their grip on first place in the English Premiership on Sunday with a 23-18 win at Newcastle, who claimed a precious bonus point in their relegation battle. Wing Sinoti Sinoti scored a third-minute try for the Falcons at Kingston Park, but scores by Tim Streather and Ben Ransom put the visitors in control before Alex Tait replied four minutes from time for Newcastle. Charlie Hodgson kicked the rest of Saracens' points, while Joel Hodgson landed two penalties for Newcastle and Phil Godman also claimed a conversion.

RugbyU: Germany call-up SA-born Saracens forward Melck

Saracens' South African-born flanker Justin Melck has been called-up by international rugby minnows Germany in their bid for a place at next year's Rugby World Cup in England. Cape Town-born Melck, 31, who has a German passport and whose mother is German, has been called into the Germany squad for their international away to Sweden on April 26. Having made 77 appearances for Saracens since making his debut against London Wasps in 2009, Melck is one of only a handful of professional players in the Germany squad and he can play in all three back-row positions.

RugbyU: Farrell gives Saracens fitness boost

English Premiership leaders Saracens on Tuesday moved to reassure fans over the extent of an injury sustained by their England fly-half Owen Farrell. Farrell went off at half-time in Saracens' 28-24 win over title rivals Northampton on Sunday due to a foot problem, but subsequent tests revealed no cause for concern. "Owen Farrell will resume training towards the end of this week," Saracens said on their official website.

RugbyU: Leicester stalwart Chuter retires

George Chuter, the Leicester hooker and England 2007 World Cup finalist, on Monday announced his immediate retirement from professional rugby. The 37-year-old is the first player to make 250 Premiership appearances, going on to line up in 292 first-team games in 13 seasons with Leicester. He has played in seven Premiership finals at Twickenham, a record he shares with former Tigers club captain Geordan Murphy. Chuter has been a part of a Leicester squad which reached four European Cup Finals and won 24 caps for England.

RugbyU: England's Farrell in injury scare

England outside-half Owen Farrell is set to find out the full severity of the foot injury that forced him off at half-time during Premiership leaders Saracens' 28-24 win over second-placed Northampton on Sunday. Farrell, who England will hope is fit enough for their post-season tour of New Zealand, had to be relieved of kicking duties by Argentina's Marcelo Bosch and didn't take the field in the second half at Saracens' home ground in Hendon, north-west London.

RugbyU: Munster into semi-finals, Ulster in controversial loss

Munster outplayed four-time champions Toulouse to reach the European Cup semi-finals Saturday but Ulster slumped to a controversial defeat to Saracens after being reduced to 14 men inside four minutes. Munster, themselves former two-time title holders of the continent's elite club tournament in 2006 and 2008, routed Toulouse 47-23 and will be joined in the last four by Saracens who edged Ulster 17-15. Clermont clinched a nail-biting 22-16 win over Leicester for their 75th successive home victory.

RugbyU: Saracens strengthen grip on Premiership summit

Saracens exploited a defeat for closest challengers Northampton by beating local rivals Wasps 32-20 on Saturday to consolidate their position at the top of the English Premiership. The visitors prevailed at Adams Park through tries from Jamie George, who crossed twice, Jackson Wray, and Alex Goode, with kickers Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell adding nine and five points respectively. Wasps, for whom Joe Simpson shone at scrum-half, saw Tom Howe, Jonah Holmes and Carlo Festuccia cross for tries, but they were undone by four missed kicks from fly-half Andy Goode.

RugbyU: Saracens strengthen grip on Premiership summit

Saracens exploited a defeat for closest challengers Northampton by beating local rivals Wasps 32-20 on Saturday to consolidate their position at the top of the English Premiership. The visitors prevailed at Adams Park through tries from Jamie George, who crossed twice, Jackson Wray, and Alex Goode, with kickers Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell adding nine and five points respectively. Wasps, for whom Joe Simpson shone at scrum-half, saw Tom Howe, Jonah Holmes and Carlo Festuccia cross for tries, but they were undone by four missed kicks from fly-half Andy Goode.

RugbyU: Record 83,889-crowd as Saracens go top

Saracens turned on the style to go top of the Premiership with a 39-17 rout of Harlequins in front of a record crowd for a club rugby match on Saturday. A new attendance record for a club match of 83,889 was set at Wembley and the bumper crowd were treated to a dominant Saracens display as they took advantage of Harlequins' decision to rest England internationals Chris Robshaw, Danny Care and Mike Brown following their involvement in the Six Nations.
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