George Ford has been the subject of a lot of attention in the build-up to Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby final but Saracens flanker Jacques Burger says it would be remiss of his side to solely focus on the fly-half.
And while Burger knows that Bath have the capacity to score from anywhere, he acknowledges his outfit will have to be particularly aware of Ford’s game-breaking ability.
“I think he's one of those guys that if you push too hard on him he can step you, he is such a good player, a special player. He will punish you if he gets the opportunity,” the Namibian international told BBC Radio 5 live.
“I try not to target any specific player because one to 15 they have an incredibly good team.
“They are such a good team with such dangerous players. So it's going to be one of the biggest challenges of the year. Defensively we need to be up for it, and we will be.”
Burger started at Twickenham 12 months ago when Alex Waller’s last-gasp try denied Saracens the Aviva Premiership Rugby title, as they went down 24-20 to Northampton after extra-time.
After avenging that defeat in the semi-final this time around, Sarries are still on track to lift the league trophy for the first time 2011.
But Burger knows they will have to come out firing against Bath on Saturday if they are to turn that dream into a reality.
“We knew the challenge of going to Northampton was massive. If we weren't up for it physically they would dominate us,” added the 31-year-old.
“So it was great seeing all the boys being really up for it. Physically we were very up for it.
“We always talk about being first and throwing that first punch, and I feel personally responsible in the defensive part of it to make a statement.
“It doesn't always happen. I make a lot of mistakes. You get bumped the odd time, but to be there mentally and try and put the opponent under pressure and dominate them physically is vital in the essence of the game to get the rest of the guys up.
“It's infectious – it gets a team's vibe up and up – and that's the little bit I can do.”
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