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Preview: Saracens v London Irish

Preview: Saracens v London Irish

Skipper Steve Borthwick has warned London Irish that his Saracens side have left no stone unturned in the build up for their London Double Header.

Despite winning the Aviva Premiership title in 2010-11 Sarries’ record in the London showpiece showdowns is far from ideal – indeed they have won just one of their last four games at Twickenham.

A record of three wins from their eight Double Header clashes is not reflective of their return to the Premiership’s top table in recent years.

Sarries ended last year’s regular season with three wins on the spin and it is that sort of form that Borthwick insists his side have been prepping for ahead of Saturday’s Exiles clash.

“Pre-season has gone really well and you get to that point where everyone is just looking forward to getting stuck into the season,” he said.

"You want to play those big games. So everyone is excited about what is ahead. It's been nice for me to have a first full pre-season in a decade and get involved in the great coaching we have at Saracens.

"It's been all about constantly looking for the edges, every area of the team, every area of the coaching group constantly looking to try and improve things in their area.

"I think that is what we've really worked hard to do this pre-season and it has gone well. It was a frustrating year last year but there were positives being only two points off the top, having young players come through and being the only English club to reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

"But ultimately we want to improve, we need to improve, and I think we have because everyone else will be in this highly competitive league that we are in.”

Sarries’ desire for improvement is motivated by a so-near-yet-so-far season last year – losing out in the Premiership semi-finals to a George Ford-inspired Leicester Tigers.

Despite their fortunes contrasting last year – Irish finished seventh in the table compared to Saracens’ third – in Double Headers the Exiles are sitting comparatively pretty having won five and lost three.

Head-to-head however it is Mark McCall’s Saracens that hold the upper hand, having won each of the last three encounters, the last of which was a 28-19 win in April.

Delon Armitage – now departed for pastures new at Toulon – scored two tries for Irish. Coming the other way is fly-half Shane Geraghty who has returned from France for a second spell with the Exiles intent on writing himself into the club’s folklore.

“I want to be remembered as a very good London Irish player and join the likes of Bob Casey, Nick Kennedy and Paul Hodgson on that wall because they were very good players for London Irish and made the club what it is today,” said Geraghty.

"This club means so much to me, it's very close to my heart and to join those names on that wall would mean a lot to me."

To witness Saracens and London Irish going head-to-head at Twickenham click here

Referee: Wayne Barnes (108th Premiership game)

Assistant Referees: Sean Davey & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Trevor Fisher.


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