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Preview: Saracens v London Irish

Preview: Saracens v London Irish

Full-back Ben Ransom insists the plan is for the Saracens juggernaut to keep rolling on as the Aviva Premiership returns this weekend, though he admits London Irish have plenty of weapons capable of stopping them.

Sarries bowed out of Aviva Premiership action for last month’s break in scintillating form, their only loss coming in October against fellow high-fliers Northampton Saints.

And after reaching the knock-out stages on both cup fronts over January, Saracens now look towards continuing their march towards the play-offs – starting with Irish at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Mark McCall’s troops have won their last 11 matches on home turf and while he expects the Exiles to arrive with all guns blazing, Ransom is set on reaffirming Saracens’ dominance at the top of the table.

“The players have keyed in for the next couple of weeks to take our form to the next level, a few guys have come back into the team ready for the Premiership so that can only help,” he said.

“We go out there to win every game we play. London Irish have got some big ball carriers and with James O’Connor currently there they are always going to be a threat.

“With new owners coming in they have all to play for and I think they are going to be a good team in the years to come.

“It’s going to be tough this week but as always we concentrate on the way we play and that’s given us a lot of success so far this season.

“It’s great to get opportunities to get back into the Premiership, the past two weeks it’s been the LV= Cup and although that’s been good it was disappointing to lose against a strong side like Northampton.”

To make matters more daunting for the visitors, Irish have only won once away in the Aviva Premiership since January 2013 – a 20-18 victory against Worcester Warriors in Round 2 this year.

However, just one loss in the last five games in all competitions suggests all signs are pointing upwards for Brian Smith’s men and wing Topsy Ojo insists his side are not to be underestimated.

"Saracens are flying at the moment, they are playing some really good rugby so we have to go there and see what we can do," he said.

"A lot of people will be writing us off, but we just have to go out there and make sure we can perform on the day.

"If we go out there thinking we have already lost then there's no point in even turning up.

"There's no reason why we cannot go out there and compete, we take confidence from that first game of the season.

"We let ourselves down a little bit defensively, but we showed we can play some good rugby as well."


(Allianz Park, 3pm)

Referee: Dean Richards (62nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Andy Watson. TMO: Keith Lewis.

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