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Barritt: Saracens belief inspired thrilling victory


Brad Barritt took the plaudits after last weekend’s dramatic win at London Irish but the centre insists his teammates’ support and Saracens’ winning mentality were behind the bold decision-making.

Barritt – stand-in skipper for Sarries in Alistair Hargreaves’ absence – opted to kick for touch in the dying minutes at the Madejski Stadium, with Irish three points ahead.

The decision paid off as a powerful Saracens maul shoved its way over the line, allowing Billy Vunipola to grab the match-winning try.

After the whistle director of rugby Mark McCall reserved special praise for Barritt, but the England centre insists going for the win was not all his doing.

“Thankfully it all played out like we would have wanted it to,” he said. “The guys around me said they were 100 per cent behind any decision I make. There was an air of belief in the team.

“We pride ourselves in being a team that definitely backs ourselves and in that situation it was great to show that togetherness. It was a very pleasing result.

“It was a pretty strange game. We were 20-6 up at one point and we had the game in a firm grasp. They got back into the game and luckily we had the resolve to win it in the end.

“What was most pleasing was the response and the way we kept going and were able to claim a try in the dying minutes.”

After three Aviva Premiership Rugby wins in as many games – only Bath Rugby can also boast that record – Barritt is excited to run out at Allianz Park for the first time this season, when Sale Sharks visit on Saturday.

“It is a fantastic atmosphere and a brilliant stadium to play at,” he said. “For the new guys in the team it is going to be a pleasant surprise.”

And while ending Saracens’ wait for a second Aviva Premiership Rugby title is top priority, the 28-year-old admitted next year’s World Cup is tough to ignore.

“It is hugely exciting,” added Barritt. “It is a massive year for rugby in England and especially to be in the England squad but you have got to take it game by game.

“I think across the board in the England squad there is fantastic depth and talent and every player who is in the England frame it battling it out. I have had a pleasing start and it is just about carrying that on.”

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