May 09, 2017
McCall: "We will do everything we can to win"
Ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup Final, Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall has provided an update on his squad’s fitness and in particular the condition of Sean Maitland.
Speaking at the training ground during the club’s media day in front of the assembled press McCall confirmed that the Scotland winger would be out for the season with an ankle ligament injury that may require surgery.
He said: “Sean Maitland is unfortunately out for the rest of the season, he’s got an ankle ligament injury which may or may not need surgery and we’ll know that in the next day or two.
“I just feel sorry for Sean, because he’s done brilliantly for us this season and has been a first-choice selection in all of our big games so far. Unfortunately, he’ll miss the weekend and the rest of the season”, he added, “It’s really cruel for a guy who’s had a brilliant first season for us.”
It’s an unfortunate blow for the 28-year-old who toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and had enjoyed a stellar debut season for the Men in Black. McCall continued by providing a further update on his squad, saying: “Richard Barrington also got injured last weekend and he’ll miss this weekend too but apart from Juan Figallo and Will Fraser everyone else is available.”
He went on to re-iterate the strong situation the squad currently finds itself in: “That being said, I think if we look back on the squad that we had for the Champions Cup Final last year; there’s probably likely to be 19 out of that 23-man squad available for this year’s final which is a good sign.”
Continuing, McCall, who guided Sarries to the double last year, praised Saturday’s opponents Clermont and reinforced the squad’s desire not to dwell on defeat against Wasps last weekend, instead looking forward.
He explained: “Last weekend’s defeat hasn’t been mentioned at all, we’ve made the decision to just crack on with everything we have to get through in the next few days. Clermont are a really good team and there are lots of things for us to plan and get right so we’ve moved on pretty quickly.”
Clermont and Saracens have faced off at the top level of European competition seven times in the past seven years and McCall praised the French side while backing Sarries to complete the job, saying: “It’s understandable how much support Clermont are likely to get from the neutrals, I think it takes a certain type of club to keep coming back in the way that they do. Year on year they’re in the top two in the Top 14 at the end of the season.”
“They’re easily quarter-finalists, semi-finalists or finalists in the Champions Cup every year, which is an achievement in itself. In terms of them winning it, we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen but they’re a club I admire hugely.”