Oct 13, 2015
Hargreaves looks ahead to season opener
Alistair Hargreaves believes consistency will be buzz word amongst his Saracens teammates ahead of their Aviva Premiership title defence, which begins against Sale Sharks on Saturday aftenoon at Allianz Park.
The Premiership winning captain who is now into his fourth season with north Londoners believes Saracens’ settled squad will be key to any title challenge from the Men in Black as they prepare to face Sale Sharks in this weekend’s season opener.
“Consistency in personnel is key to us,” said Hargreaves. “Since I’ve been at the club we’ve had the same coaching staff and had very little turnover of players, I think that means we can working as soon as possible when we all get together at the start of preseason. We all know the ropes, we all know what’s expected of each other and that really helps us out in terms of keeping the team as consistent as possible.
We can be quite happy with our form over the last few seasons, we’ve just got to be consistent, keep working hard at the things we do well and our ethos of the pride we take in certain things. If we do that then we we’ll there or thereabouts come the end of the season.
This week we’ve had an eye on the opening game for the first time in training. It will be a big start, Sale are well settled side and they had a great season last year, and we know because we played them four times!
“It’s a big challenge but like every game, and much like last year, it’s a very competitive Premiership this season and we’ll be challenged week-in-week-out.”
With the Rugby World Cup taking centre stage in England the delayed Premiership start has seen top-flight clubs go through an extended preseason campaign. The longer preparation time is something Hargreaves believes will benefit his Saracens side for the upcoming season.
He said: “The lengthy preseason has definitely given us a different kind of challenge, to manage people’s workloads for example, but it’s also given opportunities to our younger players to really step up to the plate.
“We’ve been missing about 17 guys with the World Cup plus a few others coming back from injures, so it’s really given them so good exposure of first team rugby and it has let them learn the ropes on how we do things at the club.”