Saracens have been drawn together with Munster, Clermont Auvergne and Sale Sharks in Pool 1 of the inaugural European Champions Cup, and Director of Rugby Mark McCall believes the prospect of facing some of Europe’s strongest sides is ‘incredibly exciting’.
“Playing in Europe you expect to come up against the best teams and I feel that we’ve got that,” said McCall. “Three of the teams in the group have been in the semi-finals for the last two seasons, so it’s a group that is going to be ridiculously tough but incredibly exciting”.
Saracens are paired with fellow Aviva Premiership side Sale Sharks, last season’s semi-final opponents Clermont Auvergne and Munster, who McCall’s men faced in the 2012/13 season, but the 46-year-old believes that in Munster’s and Clermont’s case they will be different sides from when Saracens faced them previously.
“Things can move quite quickly in rugby,” he said.
“In Munster’s case they have changed their coaching staff for this season bringing in Anthony Foley who is a Munster man through and through, and has been part of some of their legendary exploits in Europe. Clermont have also changed personnel, with Vern Cotter moving on to Scotland, so they will be different.
“Next seasons starting to take shape now after the draw. We’ll find out our schedule in due course when the Premiership fixtures are announced, we’ve got all our plans in place. The players are on a well-earned break at the moment but all of sudden with the European draw it’s starting to whet the appetite,” he added.