He might have only just turned 20, but Ben Earl is already turning heads at Saracens and beyond.
The back-rower will once again captain the Wolfpack this weekend as they take on the Dragons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Earl was the standout performer for his side back in November, albeit as the men in black slipped to back to back defeats.
But since then Earl’s stock has continued to rise – he came off the bench in the Champions Cup clash against Clermont in the Stade Marcel Michelin and also was just last week named in the England U20 squad for the second year in a row.
.@Saracens have a star on their hands 🔥
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 25, 2018
And while he bides his time at Sarries waiting his big back-row breakthrough, the youngster is loving the limelight that the Anglo-Welsh Cup brings.
“We spend a lot of time wearing bibs and holding pads for the first team,” he said.
“It is nice to be in the driving seat and be the most important people in the club for a week which is a good honour of us.
“But with that comes a big responsibility to put in a good performance on the weekend.
“We took a lot of learning from those first two rounds of game, we have come out better for it.
“Especially in terms of earning the respect of our teammates. If you get that then that will also rub off on the coaches.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 24, 2018
“We need to use those lessons from the last couple of months and bring that to fruition on the weekend.
“We look at those games, we are playing a bit of an unknown quantity in the Dragons.
“This is our big opportunity and we are lucky to have it – now we have to make the most of it.”
Those first two defeats in the Anglo-Welsh came in the midst of a seven-match losing run for the club across November and December.
But the corner has been turned, Sarries snuck into the Champions Cup quarter-finals and remain second in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings.
And Earls knows it is vital that they keep the goodwill flowing at Allianz Park.
“That bad run came from us not being honest with ourselves and not living up to our values that we pride ourselves on,” he added.
Introducing Ben Earl. The England U20 forward who is keeping the faith on and off the pitch.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) 6 June 2017
“We knew we were good enough, we just had to bide our time and fortunately the results have come.
“Injuries have played a role as well so having those big stars have been nice.
“Keeping the winning momentum going is massive, just the feelgood factor in the club.
“We have never been about results, we are about performances and if we put in a true Saracens performance then everyone comes out feeling a lot better about things.
“As a general rule, a few of us might be playing with the internationals being away so it is all the better if we can get a bit of confidence under our belts with a good performance.”
This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here