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Mark McCall hails entire Saracens set-up after his Director of Rugby award

Mark McCall scooped the third Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season award of his career but was quick to pay credit to the entire club for their trophy-laden night at the Aviva Premiership Rugby awards.

McCall – who previously won the top prize in 2012 and 2013 – guided Saracens to their first-ever European title last weekend and the North London club also topped the Aviva Premiership Rugby table in the regular season.

Next up are the domestic semi-finals, this is the seventh year in a row that Sarries have made the final four.

And McCall – who joined from Ulster in 2009 – is delighted with the consistency shown by his side but quick to deflect praise away from himself. 

“This award is recognition for the club overall,” he said. “I feel very lucky to have arrived at the right club at the right time.

“We have a consistency about what we do, a consistency with the length of time the players have been together, a consistency in our approach each week, turning up and being well prepared.

“And that consistency has led to us getting to some play-offs and some big games – we have done that now for the last six or seven years and long may it continue.” 

The future of the club looks rosy as well, Maro Itoje scooped the Land Rover Discovery of the Season award while England internationals like George Kruis, Mako Vunipola and Billy Vunipola are all 26 and under.

And McCall cannot wait to see what the future holds for his North London club.

“This is really exciting at the moment, because we are relatively young – particularly in the pack – over the next two or three season these players are very hungry and motivated to get even better as a group,” he added.

“And we will need to because everyone else is.

“We never want to talk about sustained dominance because there are too many good teams in this league.

“But what we want to try and do is get better, we have improved over the last couple of seasons and we need to keep doing that, keep working hard and keep preparing well.”

The night’s big award – the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season – went to full-back Alex Goode who drew special praise from his director of rugby.

“I am really thrilled for Alex Goode because he has played well in the Premiership for a long time now, and particularly this year he has been phenomenal,” he added.

“It’s wonderful to see his consistency being recognised.”

 

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