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Aviva Premiership Final Preview

Aviva Premiership Final Preview

Jamie George has called on Saracens to make sure their semi-final victory was no flash in the pan as his side seek to atone for last year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final heartbreak.

Saracens had been going about their business this season under the radar before gaining some measure of revenge against Northampton Saints, who pipped them to the post after extra-time at Twickenham in 2014.
And there will be certainly no hiding place on the grandest stage of them all this Saturday, as the Wolf Pack meet a Bath Rugby side that have been bewitching the best defences all year.
With the likes of George and Jacques Burger – the Namibian was man of the match against Saints – in fine fettle Saracens are hardly underdogs, but their hooker knows the scale of the task at hand.
“(The semi-final) was a massive result for the club, we put in a great performance,” said George. “But the thing is we’ve got another huge game in the final this weekend, so we’ve had to put it behind us and learn why we were so good to replicate it.
“The amazing thing about this team is that we learn from our defeats and we had a very good meeting off the back of the (Exeter) defeat and did what we needed to do against London Welsh.
“We’ve always had it in us, our defence defined us against Northampton, and it was great for us to put in a performance like that in such a big occasion like a semi-final.
“We’re going to have to draw on those experiences this weekend because the memories we’ve made over the last five years together are the ones we must use for us to win this game.”
Bath have not won a league title since 1996 and their only Premiership Rugby final to date was in 2004, in which they fell to Wasps.
But they’ve triumphed in their last two visits to Twickenham – both regular season encounters against Wasps.
They will need to improve on their recent form against Saracens however, with their only triumph over Mark McCall’s men in the last ten attempts coming at the Rec in October.
Saracens also have the advantage of experience, having beaten Leicester Tigers in the 2011 final, and Bath prop Davey Wilson admits his side must guard against being overawed.
"It's my first major final so it's going to be incredible to walk out there and take it all in," said Wilson. "To be honest the fact that most of our squad haven't played in a major final might make a difference.

"It's easy to get caught up in the moment, suddenly realise you're in a big game and choke.

"But I think our squad has taken a lot from the experience of playing a European final against Northampton Saints last year.

"We're in a far more comfortable position as a squad now and I really feel we are in a better place than we have ever been before."

Twickenham Stadium (2:30pm)

Referee: Wayne Barnes (156th Premiership game, 6th final).
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle & Greg Garner. TMO: Graham Hughes.

Live on BT Sport

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