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Wyles impressed by Saracens’ resolve

Wyles impressed by Saracens’ resolve

Saracens’ international contingent may have had to immediately return to the fray to help the club maintain their challenge on both European and domestic fronts, but Chris Wyles insists his side can last the pace.

Despite a tough autumn schedule, England stars Owen Farrell, George Kruis, Richard Wigglesworth and Billy Vunipola and Scotland’s Duncan Taylor all started as Sarries held off Sale Sharks 19-15 in the European Champions Cup last weekend.

With Mark McCall’s side requiring another victory over their Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals at Allianz Park on Saturday to keep the pressure on Clermont Auvergne and Munster, all five will be in action once more.

One notable absence is centre Brad Barritt, who is set for a month on the sidelines after suffering a calf injury in England’s triumph over Australia in November.

Yet with Wyles set to partner Taylor in the midfield and Farrell providing another option for the No.12 jersey, the American international is confident his side are well-placed heading into a crucial run of games.

“I get asked about my role in the team a lot but I’m just happy to be part of this squad and play in whatever position I’m needed to make a contribution on the pitch,” he said.

“The England guys had a great finish to their autumn with a brilliant win against Australia but there were a few sore bodies when they got back, especially Brad Barritt.

“Since Owen has been back he has been great for the squad and we’re all looking forward to him getting some more game time.

“This season is long and gruelling especially as we’re looking to compete in both Europe and the Premiership so it’s good we’ve built a strong squad over the last two or three years.

“The fact that we can have either Charlie or Owen at fly-half or Owen in the centres shows what great flexibility we have.”

The hard-fought win against Sale ended a slight dip in fortunes for Saracens in recent weeks, following back-to-back Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats to Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs.

And although Wyles is adamant his side cannot underestimate their opponents in the reverse fixtures, the 31-year-old is hoping Saracens can make the most of a series of home ties during a busy period.

“It was a pretty tough game but to get the result after the last couple of weeks with a few losses was a big morale boost,” he added.

“When we saw the fixtures with back-to-back games against Sale we knew it was going to be a really challenging spell but we took a big step away from home.

“The boys are excited to have another go this weekend and hopefully put in a good performance in front of the home fans.

“I’m not going to lie, most of us watched that Munster versus Clermont game and it means that the group is a bit more open now and there is plenty to play for.

“We are aware that this is a very busy period and with us sitting fourth in the league table we’ve got really big games and it’s a boost to have three of the four at home.”

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