TOP BAR - Fixtures

Mark McCall backs Saracens youngsters to excel

Mark McCall has backed his ‘highly impressive’ young Saracens to continue building a legacy at Allianz Park as they prepare to defend their Aviva Premiership Rugby crown.

Saracens dominated domestically and abroad last season, clinching a maiden Champions Cup title to go with their second successive Aviva Premiership Rugby win.

Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, George Kruis, and the Vunipola brothers all helped England seal a Six Nations Grand Slam before dominating Australia for a 3-0 Test series win Down Under this summer.

Despite more international rugby ahead and a British & Irish Lions tour on the horizon, McCall believes his Test players will have no problems focussing on pushing Saracens forward – starting at Twickenham against Worcester Warriors in the London Double Header. 

“We have got a pretty impressive young group and I couldn’t speak more highly of them,” McCall said at today's Aviva Premiership Rugby launch at Twickenham Stadium.

“After the Grand Slam last year – they are all 25 and under and are English internationals – to come back and perform the way they did for their club was incredible really.

“The age profile of our group is good, they are highly motivated and hopefully better things are ahead.

“They are unbelievably motivated, there is a Lions Tour and we said at the end of last season that for us it didn’t feel like the culmination of seven years, it felt like the start of something.

 “To win in Australia is tough, but to win 3-0 is incredible, it just grows so much confidence in that team.”

Saracens’ have made few changes to the core of their squad, with their key young players all committed to a future at Allianz Park, but with Springbok legend Schalk Burger one major arrival, it is clear they are not resting on their laurels.

McCall too insists the most important factor remains the consistency in both coaches and players.

“We have grown as a club and we need to remember the underlying factors which have made us successful over the past couple of years,” he said.

“If we do stay true to those things, then hopefully we will give ourselves a chance.

“We haven’t had too many changes, we have only had three or four new players.

“Schalk Burger has essentially taken the place of two players – Ernst Joubert and Jacques Burger – we thought it was important that we brought in a very experienced player and Schalk has made a great impression over the first couple of weeks.” 

Start the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season in style with two games from £25 at Twickenham. Harlequins v Bristol Rugby and Saracens v Worcester Warriors in the London Double Header, 3 September. Tickets available from ticketmaster.co.uk

Latest News

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal