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Preview: Worcester Warriors v Saracens

Preview: Worcester Warriors v Saracens

Worcester fly-half Tom Heathcote is determined to end the Warriors’ season on a high by beating the Aviva Premiership Rugby top-team Saracens at Sixways this weekend.

Since beating London Irish at Sixways in March – a result that all but confirmed Worcester’s status in the top flight for next season – Dean Ryan’s men have struggled.

Worcester Warriors have slipped to three maximum-point Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats but Heathcote is convinced there’s no better way to put down a marker for next season than by beating the champions-elect.

Saracens are presently in formidable form having seen off Wasps to book a European Champions Cup final berth in May, while their form domestically has been superb throughout the season.

“We are all massively motivated for the Saracens game,” said Heathcote. “To play Leicester and Sarries in our last two fixtures, two of the most consistent sides in the league, has been a great way to end.

“We want to try and finish the season on a high and there is no better team to do that against than Sarries.

“It’s our last game of the season and we have got nothing to lose – we will go out there and attack because this is a massive opportunity for us.

“Regardless of who they pick, you know that Sarries are a quality outfit with players who can hurt you.

“Our home fans have been awesome this year – they have stuck with us through thick and thin.

“So hopefully we can send them off into the summer and then pre-season on a high with a win.”  

Saracens have already ensured a home semi-final spot and number one seeding in three of the last four years.
Mark McCall’s side are unbeaten since they visited Leicester in Aviva Premiership Rugby on March 20, while they have won their last four league encounters with Worcester since the Warriors 12-3 victory at Sixways in November 2012.

Saracens enjoyed a team-bonding session in Dubrovnik last week ahead of the win against Newcastle.

And are trying to become the first club since Leicester in 2001 to complete a Premiership and European double.

“It was a cultural experience, we went to see the sights and we learnt a lot about the history of Dubrovnik and what it means to the country,” Barritt, the Saracens captain, said. “We see it as building friendships and building bonds that will count for the big moments in games. The culture and friendships in the team pull us through hard moments.

“It might not have been the perfect preparation for last weekend but look what is coming. We have two huge games guaranteed and we want to make it three [by winning the Premiership semi-final].

“It is about getting the squad in the best possible position. We know those small conversations about people getting to know each other better speak volumes on the pitch.”

Director of rugby Mark McCall, who is likely to rest several players for the final regular-season match against Worcester on Saturday, said: “We have played 29 consecutive games. There have been no breaks and we knew we needed to do something different, we needed to freshen it up, we needed not to touch a rugby ball and we didn’t. The boys had a phenomenal time.”


Referee: Luke Pearce (51st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & Jonathan Healy. TMO: David Sainsbury.

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