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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

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