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The Saracens will once again welcome Maro Itoje and Vincent Koch for the shock of Bath
M

aro Itoje “is fighting instantly” to run for the Saracens for the first time this season when they visit Bath on Sunday.

Itoje and South African mainstay Vincent Koch are the last Saracens summer internationals to return to action, in addition to Elliot Daly who is out for at least another month with a stress fracture.

British and Irish Lions Jamie George, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola have all been involved in recent weeks but, having had a heavier workload on the South Africa tour, Itoje has been given an extended hiatus.

“We have a few returning players available for selection at Maro and Vinny Koch,” Saracens rugby manager Mark McCall said.

“Maro came back to training at the same time as everyone. We wanted to give him just a little more time than the other Lions players because of his workload on tour. He played a few minutes longer than anyone else. He’s chomping at the bit and it’s great to find him.

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“Although he didn’t play, he participated in all of our training. He’s been very good with the non-playing team to help prepare the squad, and he’s obviously a good guy to have in organizing the opposition roster. He’s done a phenomenal job on it over the last three or four weeks, invested a lot in it, helped a lot of young players, but it’s good to have him in the 23 now.

Koch traveled to Australia for the rugby championship after the Lions, but McCall believes he’s ready for action.

“He’s had a funny 12 months or so,” he says. “He wasn’t busy at all, then very busy. I don’t think he played a game between late October last year and early March. It has been busy since then.

“He’s happy to come out of a bubble environment, to be with his wife and child, to come back with the boys. We will take care of him over the next few months to make sure he has enough free time, as well as to play rugby. “

The Saracens are assessing the availability of Jackson Wray, who is dealing with a delayed concussion that occurred in the last loss to Leicester 10 days ago.

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