Steve Borthwick, Tigers head coach, spoke to the official website ahead of Saturday’s game against Saracens. Here’s what he had to say:
This is an exciting challenge for us, up against a squad of their calibre and experience.
I am certain too that the return of Mark McCall this week, which is fantastic to see, has been a big boost to the players, coaches and entire club.
Saracens have been the benchmark in English and European rugby for some time now and, in particular this group, have achieved a lot of success together for more than a decade.
Incredible strength of Saracens squad
Reflecting on the Saracens squad, Steve observed:
You look at their squad and the depth in almost every position, it’s an incredible outfit.
This is a team who have been at the top since 2009, which is almost thirteen seasons, and there has not been a lot of change within their group.
They are a dozen years on this journey, we are 18 months into our own from a very, very different place.
Lessons from last time
Speaking about the narrow, 13-12 Tigers victory in October when the sides last met, Borthwick had this to say:
I remember the game, they comprehensively outplayed us. We have got to have learned from that experience, absolutely, but it isn’t something we will be using too much going into Saturday’s fixture.
It will be different line-ups, different venue and surface, conditions, it’s not going to be about comparing the two, but there will be signs as to whether or not we have learned from that game earlier this season.
Saracens benefiting from a bye week
Asked about Saracens becoming the fourth team Tigers have played against this season who have benefited from a bye week in the lead up, Borthwick said:
I don’t put the fixture list together, I just get on with the next challenge. People will talk about it, but that is not for us to do.
Our focus is on improving, every day, and preparing as well as we possibly can to deliver performances that make our supporters proud.
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