Saracens prop Juan Figallo admits it is the young-guns at Allianz Park that are pushing the first team to new heights in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
The 26-year-old Argentine international – capped 22 times by the Pumas – was part of the Sarries side that produced a stunning second-half comeback to beat Northampton Saints 24-20 in Saturday’s LV= Cup semi-final.
The win sets up a showdown with defending champions Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday in the hunt for the first major piece of silverware this season.
Saracens have already claimed this year’s A League and Under-18 Academy titles, and with Ben Spencer starring again with the boot and Maro Itoje named man of the match, Figallo insists it is the youngsters in North London who are driving the team forwards in all competitions.
“It was a great performance,” he said. “It is a different format than a normal game – we knew one team was going out – but we did not want to stop our journey in the competition and so we pushed very hard.
“Playing at home certainly helped as to have your fans around you it is definitely better, but what was impressive was the energy the whole team displayed.
“What a try from Mike Ellery. It came at a really good time for us, straight away as we started the second-half.
“It brought us back into the game, pushed the energy up for the whole team, and encouraged us to keep on working.
“It’s really good to have young guys like that playing so well in the LV= Cup, and also pushing us older guys.
“You always know as a more experienced player at Saracens that if you take your foot off the accelerator at all, then these guys are all coming for you.
“You have to be wary of them and it pushes the whole team harder and harder all the time, and the level gets higher and higher.”
Figallo signed from French outfit Montpellier at the start of the season and had a tough baptism into English rugby with injuries restricting him to just six Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances so far.
But the Argentine is thrilled with the move and looking to push on in England having shaken off a serious neck problem.
He added: “I’m really happy here in my first season. I had some issues with injuries to begin with and in the middle of the season, but I am playing now.
“It was a big change for me when I moved, but I love it in England and I love the way of Saracens – I feel very comfortable here and part of the family.
“It’s a totally different feeling here in the Aviva Premiership Rugby to in France, but this is one of the best leagues in the world, and I hope to stay here for a long time and play a lot.”
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