‘We can win in Europe and avoid rel­e­ga­tion’

Evening Times - - SPORT -

BRAD BAR­RITT in­sists Saracens are ca­pa­ble of re­tain­ing the Cham­pi­ons Cup as well as suc­ceed­ing in their des­per­ate fight for Gal­lagher Pre­mier­ship sur­vival.

The double win­ners are reel­ing from the 35-point de­duc­tion re­ceived for be­ing in breach of salary cap reg­u­la­tions and en­ter Fri­day’s clash with Bath 26 points adrift of 11th-place Le­ices­ter.

Di­rec­tor of rugby Mark McCall must pri­ori­tise the Pre­mier­ship while con­tend­ing with the loss of a host of play­ers to the Six Na­tions, but af­ter sweep­ing aside the Ospreys 44-3, Bar­ritt in­sists con­ti­nen­tal glory re­mains a vi­able ob­jec­tive.

“Europe is still an in­cred­i­ble fo­cus for us,” said the club cap­tain, who made his come­back from six weeks out at Al­lianz Park on Sat­ur­day.

“We are still go­ing into this com­pe­ti­tion want­ing to win it. If we can get into a quar­ter-fi­nal, all bets are off.

“If there are three or four guys who can’t play on a week­end, so be it. But make no mis­take, this Saracens team wants to win this tro­phy. The chal­lenge now is dif­fer­ent in that the last three or four years, Europe has been a pri­or­ity.

“If play­ers were avail­able, we were try­ing to po­si­tion them for Europe. This time we have got to un­earth some new tal­ent, other play­ers not ex­posed to that level be­fore.

“What will re­sult from this is be­ing a really uni­fied and to­gether bunch. There’s go­ing to be ad­ver­sity through­out the sea­son. We’ve had chal­lenges along the way over the last 12 years that I’ve been here. This is go­ing to be as unique a chal­lenge as any club’s go­ing to face.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.