Centre Nick Tompkins is chomping at the bit at making his first start for Saracens in over a year against Doncaster Knights on Sunday. 

The Welsh international last played for Sarries in February 2020, but now returns to the fold after spending a year on loan at PRO14 side Dragons. 

Tompkins is one of five changes made by director of rugby Mark McCall for the contest, with England and club captain Owen Farrell also a notable returnee, having recovered from a slight niggle. 

For the 26-year-old Tompkins, there really is no place like home and he can’t wait to grace the field for Saracens once again. 

“I’m really excited to be back,” Tompkins said.  “It’s my home so it’s been tough being away, especially watching the guys in another league and I’ve missed it a lot. 

“I’m forever grateful to the Dragons and had a great time there but I’m looking to make some more memories with Saracens now.  

“This is the most nervous I’ve been in a while as you want to get that respect back from the boys and build those relationships again.” 

The bolstered ranks, brimming with international experience and quality, comes as Saracens, currently third in the table, face a crucial couple of weeks in the Championship title race. 

This weekend they travel to Castle Park to face the unbeaten Doncaster, before hosting table-toppers Ealing Trailfinders – and any slip-ups could seriously damage their attempts to return to the Premiership at the first time of asking. 

Knowing full well that both sides will present Saracens with their biggest challenges to date, Tompkins believes his side will have to bring their A-game and be physical from the off if they are to succeed. 

“No team in this league is easy and we’ve got to be prepared for a fight,” he added.  

“Doncaster are a good side with some momentum so it’s going to be exciting to play against them. 

“I hope we can just rip in to it and go there with the shackles off and be physical.”