Barritt wants Saracens to start with a bang

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:00
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INTERVIEW: Saracens swept all before them last season, but Premiership-winning captain Brad Barritt insists the English champions are working like underdogs.

Mark McCall's side were the most dominant in Europe last year and England centre Barritt held both the Premiership and Champions Cup trophies aloft, captaining the North London side to unprecedented success.

And though they have lost Jacques Burger, Ernst Joubert and Charlie Hodgson, they have retained a key core of young internationals - including Mako and Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell and George Kruis.

Despite that continuity, Barritt insists his superstars are constantly reminded of how their success was built, grafting to ensure they remain on top when they kick off their Premiership season off against Worcester Warriors at the London Double Header.

"We wipe the slate clean, everyone starts from scratch at this point in the season and we know we are going to have to work equally hard if not more to be successful again," the 26-cap centre said at yesterday's Premiership launch at Twickenham.

"Things don't just happen and resting on your laurels doesn't get you anywhere. We have got very experienced squad, guys who are motivated and who want to succeed.

"We are fortunate that we have a coaching staff who are driving us hard, hopefully we can start the season off with a bang.

"Having been Premiership champions last season we definitely have a target on our backs. It is now as competitive as it has ever been, if you look across the 12 squads and the players and experience that each squad has shows that on their day anyone can beat anyone."

With 86-cap South Africa World Cup winner Schalk Burger arriving at Allianz Park earlier in the summer and England's Test heroes from Australia linking back up with their club, Barritt insists the mood in camp is brimming with excitement.

"Schalk has been a fantastic addition, he is a brilliant player and more importantly a great guy," he said.

"His personality among the younger guys has been inspiring and I think he is also looking forward to pulling on that Saracens shirt.

"The return of the England boys has been great, both the guys who have come back from tours and some new fresh faces to the squad.

"They have brought something new into that environment. We know that our culture and the way we interact with people is vital to what we do, we know that hard work and these relationships build strong rugby teams.

"The way we have interacted over the past five weeks has been great and now everybody is very eager to kick start the season."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 20 15 0 5 75
Saracens 20 14 0 6 67
Wasps 20 12 1 7 61
Newcastle Falcons 20 13 0 7 59
Leicester Tigers 20 2 0 8 57
Gloucester 20 11 1 8 56
Sale Sharks 20 10 0 10 54
Bath 20 9 0 11 46
Harlequins 20 7 0 13 36
Northampton Saints 20 7 0 13 36
Worcester Warriors 20 6 0 14 31
London Irish 20 3 0 17 22