Updated: Friday, 23 May 2014 20:35 | By Agence France-Presse

Borthwick fit to lead Saracens in European Cup final

Saracens captain Steve Borthwick has been passed fit to play in Saturday's European Cup final after being named in the London club's team to play holders Toulon at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium.

Borthwick fit to lead Saracens in European Cup final

England rugby Captain Steve Borthwick listens to questions during a press conference at the official launch of the 2010 RBS Six Nations tournament at the Hurlingham Club in London, January 27, 2010 - by Adrian Dennis

The former England skipper suffered a chest muscle injury and went off during the second half of Saracens' English Premiership semi-final win over Harlequins last weekend.

Borthwick is due to retire at the end of the season and there had been fears the lock might miss out on Saracens' grand finale.

But he was included Friday in the starting line-up for the first half of Saracens' tilt at a notable 'double' in what will be their first European Cup final.

Saracens, bidding to become the fifth English European champions after Bath, Northampton, Leicester and Wasps, also face Northampton in the Premiership final at Twickenham a week on Saturday.

Mark McCall, the Saracens director of rugby, has made just one change to the team that beat Quins, with scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth in for Neil de Kock, who is on the replacements' bench.

Saracens, who lost 24-12 to Toulon in the semi-finals of last season's European Cup, thrashed another French side in Clermont 46-6 in the last four this term.

Toulon, who play Castres in next weekend's French Top 14 final, made one change to the team that saw off Irish province Munster 24-16 in the European Cup semi-finals, with South Africa lock Bakkies Both replacing Jocelino Suta in the second row. 

As is the case with Borthwick, Toulon captain and England 2003 World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson -- who kicked all their points in their semi-final win over Saracens last season -- will retire from rugby union at the end of this month.

Fly-half Wilkinson captains a Toulon side featuring an array of international talent in Springbok wing Bryan Habana, Australia centre Matt Giteau and New Zealand prop Carl Hayman.

Were Toulon to triumph in Saturday's match they would join England's Leicester and Ireland's Leinster as the only teams to have won back-to-back Heineken Cups.  

Teams for the Heineken (European) Cup final between Saracens and Toulon at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday (1600GMT kick-off):

Teams (15-1)

Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Billy Vunipola, Jacques Burger, Kelly Brown; Alistair Hargreaves, Steve Borthwick (capt); Matt Stevens, Schalk Brits, Mako Vunipola

Replacements: Jamie George, Richard Barrington, James Johnston, Mouritz Botha, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Chris Wyles


Delon Armitage; Drew Mitchell, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Bryan Habana; Jonny Wilkinson (capt), Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Steffon Armitage, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Smith; Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha; Carl Hayman, Craig Burden, Xavier Chiocci

Replacements: Jean-Charles Orioli, Alexandre Menini, Martin Castrogiovanni, Ali Williams, Virgile Bruni, Maxime Mermoz, Michael Claassens, Jocelino Suta

Referee: Alain Rolland (IRL)

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