Max Malins is hoping to emulate hero Owen Farrell after inspiring Saracens to victory in The Premiership Rugby / RFU U18 Academy Final.
The young Sarries fought back to beat defending champions Northampton Saints 23-19 in an enthralling final at Allianz Park, with fly-half Malins kicking eight points.
Farrell, who also came through the youth set up at Saracens, was in attendance on the day and offered the young side a few wise words before kick-off.
“We didn’t know Owen was coming but for the boys to see him it was just such an inspiration for us all,” said Malins.
“He’s been through this academy and has made it all the way through to play for England – for me as a No.10, to see him give me my shirt was incredible.
“When I’ve been training with the first team he’s been a great role model and to be around him is just great for my development.
“He has already improved my kicking and I’m going to continue looking up to him and learning from him.”
Farrell, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, spoke to the players about the need for a final mentality, according to academy manager Don Barrell.
And the players clearly took that message on board as flanker Ethan Waddleton crashed over with just four minutes on the clock.
Saints battled back to take the lead and looked on course to retain the crown, before Malins set up Nick Ramsey's last-gasp try.
“We really had to dig in and we came through it very well and getting that try late on was brilliant,” added Malins.
“We came out and did something we’ve never had to do before, we’re such a close team and that proved it in the last ten minutes.
“Personally I didn’t think it was going to be our day but thankfully at the end there was a bit of space on the wing and Nick got in.”
Having already been on the bench for an LV= Cup fixture against London Welsh earlier this month, Malins is now hoping to make the transition into the first team full-time.
But with Farrell and Premiership record points scorer Charlie Hodgson ahead of him in the pecking order, the youngster admits he will have to bide his time.
“Saracens have got some great fly-halves so it’s going to be difficult for me but I’m going to take it step by step,” he said.
“I’ve been playing for Sarries for the last couple of years so hopefully I can build a career here.”
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