Saracens and England lock George Kruis says his side will benefit from the experience of winning big games as they prepare for the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
The North London club beat Clermont Auvergne 28-17 to become back-to-back European Champions Cup winners last Saturday and now turn their attention to doing the ‘double-double’, winning both domestic and European titles in consecutive years.
Last year, Kruis found the semi-final against Leicester Tigers to be the hardest game of the season following the emotion of European success and is expecting the clash with Rob Baxter’s men to be just as challenging.
Last chance to win a pair of top price tickets 🎟️🎟️ to the #AvivaPremFinal! 🏉
Competition closes tomorrow!
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) May 17, 2017
However, the 27-year-old, who will travel to New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in June, says becoming winners in 2016 will help Saracens this time around.
He said: “We’ve got the same scenario this year as last season and we can learn off the back of that because it is an identical situation.
“We will definitely take points from what we learnt last year and we’ll be ready, we talked about that this morning.
“Controlling your emotions is hard because we were at the highest of the high when we won the Champions Cup, but we won’t be disrespecting Exeter in terms of preparation.”
Back to work 🏉🏉 pic.twitter.com/BoM7WToJtK
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) May 16, 2017
Spirits certainly seem high after Saturday’s victory at BT Murrayfield, as cameras showed the energetic celebrations taking place inside the Saracens changing room after the game.
The club took Sunday and Monday off, returning to training on Tuesday, and both Kruis and head coach Mark McCall believe it was important to recognise the significance of their European success.
Kruis added: “It’s hard, you work all year to put yourselves in position and if you win big trophies like that you’ve got to celebrate it properly.
— George Kruis (@GeorgeKruis) May 13, 2017
“It’s a big thing of what we’re about as a club and you saw today in training, the majority of the squad were doing extra fitness at the end.
“This isn’t a light week for us, because we’ve celebrated our victory well, but we’ll prepare detail-wise just as well as we would normally.”
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