Gallagher Premiership Final on May 27: Saracens vs Sale

2023 Gallagher Premiership Final between the Saracens and Sale

After months of drama, tribulation and red-hot rugby, we have our Gallagher Premiership final. This weekend, Saracens are set to do battle with the Sale Sharks, but who will leave Twickenham with silverware?

Here is a rundown of the key narratives, and the key clashes to look out for during the final:

The Gallagher Premiership Final Between the Saracens vs Sale

Master vs Apprentice

Mark McCall and Alex Sanderson were partners in crime for much of Saracens’ most dominant era; however, they are now set to face off against each other in the hunt for glory.

The pair worked together for over ten years in North London, and in that time they won everything there is to win in the sport, notably doing the Premiership and European double in both 2016 and 2019.

Mark McCall has been influential at the helm since his appointment in 2010. During his tenure, Saracens have become one of the most dominant sides in Europe. In recent seasons, they have completely reinvented their style of play to focus more on attacking freedom and speed. Will this new style help them get one over his old apprentice Alex Sanderson?

Whilst the talk around Sanderson ahead of this game is his old partnership with McCall, he has become a top quality Director of Rugby in his own right since his appointment in 2021. A former Sale player himself, he has forged a new identity for the Sharks, and led them to the play-offs twice in the last three seasons.  He has put his footprint down on this Sale team, who are steamrollering their way through teams with a physical game that is second to none.

Owen Farrell vs George Ford, again

For the second time in two seasons, it’s George Ford vs Owen Farrell as the key battle at fly-half. This is a massive clash, both for this game and for England ahead of the World Cup this autumn. Since his return from injury, Ford has been one of the form players in the league. His performance last week epitomised his importance to this Sale squad, as he steered his side to Twickenham against his old team. Furthermore, he has combined with Rob du Preez in the midfield perfectly and together they have formed a quality axis in Sale’s backline.

Farrell has arguably been the best player in the Premiership this season. Whilst his form for England hasn’t been at the usual levels, his performances for Saracens have been world-class. He is the lynchpin of Mark McCall’s side, and without him, they look like a completely different team. This clash of tens is not only huge in deciding who will be crowned champions on Saturday, but it could also determine the starting fly-half for England come to the World Cup.

Tom Curry vs Ben Earl

Turning attention to the contest up front, it’s hard to ignore the head-to-head in the back row. With the injury to Ben Curry last week, it is likely Tom will slide across into the seven shirt. This sets up a mouth-watering battle, as he could line up directly opposite England counterpart Ben Earl. Both players love playing with the ball in hand, and have a reputation for barnstorming carries as well as tough, no-nonsense defence. In a similar vein to the contest at fly-half, this could very much affect England’s selection ahead of the World Cup. This promises to be a great head-to-head on the hallowed turf on Saturday.

Predictions for the Gallagher Premiership Final


READ MORE: 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership club ratings, highlights, wins and losses

This final could genuinely go either way.

Saracens have a history of winning when it matters and have plenty of recent finals experience. Since 2015, they have only missed three Premiership finals. This final experience could be the deciding factor in the game. Sale have not made a Premiership final since 2006, whereas the majority of this Saracens squad have played in plenty of finals. This could be crucial in the outcome of the final.

However, Saracens have come undone against physical teams, which Sale will look to use to their full advantage. The Sale’s physicality will pose plenty of questions for Saracens on Saturday. The pack has been devastatingly good all season and will look to try and bully Saracens off the pitch on Saturday. Furthermore, they got the better of Saracens in the team’s most recent meeting, as they won 35-24 in March. They have shown what they can do all in hand, and they boast an even stronger set-piece, but will this be enough for them to be crowned champions? That will not be known for sure until Saturday comes around.


Photo Credit: Saracens’ Facebook Page on May 24, 2023.