Fixtures - Top Bar

Mark McCall expecting stern London Double Header test for Saracens

663628533AP00123_Aviva_Prem

His side may have recorded a big win against Worcester Warriors at last year’s London Double Header, but Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes they’ll be facing a different animal this time around.

Saracens are once again the team to beat this year after wrapping up a historic Aviva Premiership Rugby and Champions Cup double in 2015/16.

But each and every team in Aviva Premiership Rugby has added ammunition over the summer and nowhere is that more evident than at Worcester.

England-qualified powerhouse Ben Te’o is a huge coup for the club and he is joined in the centres by Jackson Willison, a Maori All Blacks international.

Meanwhile Saracens have tied down a number of the stars who have helped them to greatness, while South Africa legend Schalk Burger’s signature is an undoubted head-turner.

Despite their huge success, McCall knows how crucial the start of the season is with his entire squad available – and Worcester pose the perfect opening-day test.

“Our players enjoy playing at Twickenham, this year we’re against Worcester again and they’re recruited really well in the summer,” he said.

“They’ve got a really good core of experience now so it’s going to be a really tough fixture to start the season with.

“With Carl (Hogg) taking over from Dean Ryan they’ve got a new figure at the top, they’ve brought in some internationals and they’ve got Ben Te’o in the centres, (Francois) Hougaard at scrum-half. But also they have a deep, senior look to their squad now.

“These first six games are generally quite important, a tough run of games but we do have our full squad available to us and there are other times during the year that’s not the case and we have to do without a fair chunk of our players for a period of time. While we’ve got our full squad we have to capitalise on that.”

Whether as front-runners or part of the chasing pack, Saracens have found a way to ensure they’ve been in the mix for the play-offs in the last seven years.

And as long as they’re in with a chance come the business end of the season, McCall will always back his side.

“We’ve been really consistent over the last three years in particular,” he added. “Three years ago we got into both finals and we lost them both, we lost the last one against Northampton in the last second.

“We did well to respond to that two years ago and last year was great for the club. But the aim is to always give ourselves a chance at the end of the season, and to do that we need to be reminded of things that are important to us.”

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

Premiership Rugby clubs in Europe live on TV

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s finest return to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action this weekend looking to build on…

tvrelease1111

Freddie Burns ecstatic to have stepped up after Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award

Freddie Burns’ impressive displays have seen him named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November and the Leicester…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Gloucester Rugby confirm new deal for scrum-half Callum Braley

Ahead of this evening's fixture with La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby are pleased to confirm the next re-signing for the 2017/18…

Callum Braley

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Freddie Burns named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November 2016

Leicester Tigers’ outside-half Freddie Burns has “got his strut back” and this has led to him being named Aviva Premiership…

fburns-potm-0812

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…

629845781DM00026_Saracens_v

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)