Alex Sanderson and Saracens know they will have a target on their backs when Aviva Premiership Rugby returns but the forwards coach insists he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The defending champions will likely start the season missing a big chunk of their first-team squad on international duty at the World Cup.
The newly-announced fixtures which begin in October see Sarries welcome Sale Sharks in round one before travelling to Gloucester Rugby in round two.
And after winning it all last year domestically, including the LV= Cup and the Aviva A-League, Sanderson knows his side have the squad depth to cope during a World Cup.
“It was special to win it all last year but it was almost a sense of relief, coming on the back of the season before and those crushing defeats,” he said.
“You dwell on that for months, so it was great to finish this season by winning the Premiership.
“It’s difficult to put your finger on what was different, in comparison to the season before but certainly it’s been a more enjoyable time off than it was 12 months ago.
“It’s brilliant for the club and all the effort that we put in, it was a real squad effort which has brought us a bit closer together.
“This is where your strength in depth comes through, everyone says you have to have strength in depth in a nine-month season which it is this year.
“But if you look back again last year, all the competitions behind the Premiership, the LV= Cup, the A-League, we won those as well so we are confident we have good enough young guys to come in and replace our internationals.
“Sale are highly competitive, have got a good defensive set-up and Steve Diamond is an old friend, and a former teammate, he will mark it as a game to make a statement of intent.
“They will want to knock us off whatever pedestal they think we are on.
“You can’t waste a single game, it’s always nice to start well and traditionally we at Sarries have done that.”