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European Rugby Champions CupDouble winners Saracens will meet RC Toulon, Scarlets and Sale Sharks in Pool 3 of the European Rugby Champions Cup following the pool draws for EPCR’s tournaments which took place today (Wednesday, 29 June) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

Saracens became only the fourth team to complete a domestic league and European Cup double last season when they beat Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final in Lyon and then overpowered Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham. Mark McCall’s side will lock horns with Toulon, who they dethroned in Lyon last season.

Drawn in Tier 1 with the Top 14 champions, Racing 92, the Guinness PRO12 winners, Connacht Rugby, and Leinster Rugby and Exeter Chiefs, Saracens, who became the first English club to win the top European title since Wasps in 2007, made history last season by becoming the first side to win all nine matches in a season.

The next landmark for them to chase is the 13 match winning streak enjoyed by Munster Rugby between 2005/06 and 2006/07. To break that record they will have to win their first five Pool matches next season.

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huwjones

Huw Jones

Head Coach Vern Cotter has made six personnel changes to the Scotland team to face Japan in this Saturday’s second summer Test match at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo (25 June, kick-off 11.20am BST, 7.20pm JST) – live on BBC.

The alterations are split evenly between the backs and forwards, with a positional switch made in each division to accommodate the new faces.

Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, wing Sean Maitland and centre Peter Horne all come off the bench to start the match, with Pyrgos taking on the captaincy and kicking duties from Greig Laidlaw.

Maitland is promoted in place of Damien Hoyland, with Sean Lamont coming into the squad among the substitutes, while Horne comes into midfield in place of the injured Duncan Taylor (hamstring), prompting a move to outside-centre for Matt Scott to accommodate the Warriors playmaker.

In the pack, Rory Sutherland remains in possession of the loosehead berth he inherited in the third minute of last weekend’s Test win over Japan, when Alasdair Dickinson limped off with a hamstring injury, earning his first start for the national team.

On the other side of the front-row, Moray Low swaps places with try-scorer Willem Nel to start his first Test since the 2014 summer tour win over Canada in Toronto, while Josh Strauss comes in to the back-row for John Hardie, with John Barclay moving to openside to make room for Strauss on the blindside.

Other notable inclusions see prop Gordon Reid (who arrived in Tokyo on Monday) take up a spot among the replacements, with uncapped centre Huw Jones set for an international debut if called upon from the bench.

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Emirates LionsEmirates Lions head coach, Johan Ackermann has named his team to play the Argentinian side the Jaguars at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday Afternoon.

The team sees the coach sticking to his rotation policy with a total of six changes to the side that so convincingly beat the Blues last week, with exciting lock Lourens Erasmus getting a start in the second row.

Herewith the media announcement from the Emirates Lions.

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Emirates LionsEmirates Lions wing Ruan Combrink has certainly raised some eyebrows during the 1st half of Super Rugby 2016.

The hard running winger is undoubtedly one of the form players in the African conferences, and it has to be asked in certain circles whether the new National coach has taken note of his strong performances.

Herewith a short biography of the player as issued by the Emirates Lions.

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