Jan 21, 2015
Players react to International call-ups
Ten Saracens players have received international call-ups this week, as the countdown to the 2015 Six Nations continues to gather pace.
For England Seven players have been included in Stuart Lancaster’s 34-man senior squad to face Wales on the opening evening of the tournament, with loosehead prop Mako Vunipola included alongside teammates George Kruis, Billy Vunipola, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell, Alex Goode and Richard Wigglesworth.
Elsewhere Saracens lock Maro Itoje, captain of England’s Under 20s Junior World Championship winning side last June, is named in the Saxons and joins prolific Saracens wing Chris Ashton in the Saxons squad.
North of the border, Saracens lock Jim Hamilton has been included Scotland coach Vern Cotter's squad for the upcoming Six Nations campaign.
Take a look at what Saracens’ international contingent have had to say about their call-ups:
Owen Farrell: “I’m massively looking forward to the Six Nations, but we have a huge game this weekend so everyone is just concentrating on that. After we hopefully get a good result at the weekend I’m looking forward to a good week in the camp the and games coming up."
Richard Wigglesworth: “I’m delighted. It doesn’t mean too much at this stage until we get into camp and I’ll try to make my way into the 23. We have a huge game on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to that and hopefully I’ll play well and most importantly, we get a good result."
Alex Goode: "I’m delighted to be named in the squad. The Six Nations is a brilliant competition, and is something you want to be a part of. To be involved with England is a dream come true, and is every time you’re picked. I’m just very happy to be involved and hopefully I can put my best foot forward in a huge game this weekend against Clermont."
Mako Vunipola: "I’m immensely happy to be back involved. After being out for quite a while I’m just pleased to be back playing rugby and to get the call to be back in the England squad is just a massive honour. I’m pretty pleased with the way things have gone since I’ve come back into the side. I’ve been playing week-in-week-out and that can only do me the world of good. There’s two world class players in the squad in my position, so hopefully we can each other on and that can only be a good thing for the team and make all three of us better players."
Billy Vunipola: “I’m very happy, but I know I still have a lot of work to do to get in amongst the squad. The hard-work continues, and I just have to keep plugging away and hopefully that will put me in good stead. It’s always nice to see Mako’s name in there. It’s great for us but also for the whole family. Like I said, the hard work starts now and hopefully we can keep improving at that starts this weekend."
Brad Barritt: “Every time you get named in an England squad it a special moment. I’m delighted. It’s always a proud moment to represent England and it’s fantastic to have a group of Saracens in there with me."
George Kruis: "I’m obviously very happy. I think to get the opportunity last time was something that I had been looking forward to for a long time, and hopefully I can get the chance to back it up in the Six Nations. I think it’s time of the year where there’s a home World Cup around the corner, a huge Six Nations to play for and it’s a huge point in the season so there’s a massive incentive for all players."
Chris Ashton: "'I’ve got to fight to get back in. Hopefully Stuart (Lancaster) will recognise my hunger to play for England is as strong as ever. That’ll never change and it all starts on Sunday in what will be another massive game for us away to Clermont."
Maro Itoje: “I’m massively honoured and it’s something that I wasn’t really expecting. I’m really privileged to have been called up and I’m very happy with the news.”
Jim Hamilton: “I think this will be my seventh Six Nations and I’m massively looking forward to it. It’s a fantastic tournament to play in with all the media that surrounds it, the teams that are involved, it’s just a great thing to be a part of. I’m obviously getting slightly older, so every opportunity I get to play for Scotland is just fantastic.”