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, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 20 16 1 3 79
Exeter Chiefs 20 13 3 4 74
Saracens 20 15 1 4 72
Leicester Tigers 20 12 0 8 57
Bath 20 11 0 9 53
Northampton Saints 20 9 0 11 48
Harlequins 20 10 0 10 47
Gloucester 20 7 2 11 46
Newcastle Falcons 20 8 0 12 40
Sale Sharks 20 6 1 13 36
Worcester Warriors 20 5 2 13 31
Bristol 20 3 0 17 19