Kevin Sorrell is preparing for his second Heineken Cup semi-final with Saracens, but for Sunday’s clash against Toulon at Twickenham he will be working in the stands as opposed to on the pitch.
Backs coach Sorrell won’t be taking to the pitch as he did in 2008, when he was part of a Saracens side that were narrowly beaten by would-be champions Munster.
Since his retirement from playing in 2010, Sorrell has been part of a backroom team that has helped take the club to the final four in both Europe and the Premiership and he believes that the clubs collective “journey” to this weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final has been a rite of passage that the club have “earned” over the last four seasons.
He said: “We have never really earned the right to be involved in the later stages of the Heineken Cup until now; and to get there has been a massive positive in our journey as a club over the last four years,” said the former centre who made more than 300 appearances for Saracens.
Sunday’s game against Toulon maybe billed as the clubs biggest game in recent seasons in some quarters, but Sorrell insists Saracens will not deviate away from the one game at time mantra that has served them so well this season.
“The learning experience we’ve had as a club over this period has allowed us to develop the necessary mindset and composure in all games we play, not just semi-finals or finals.
“We treat every game the same and that mindset is something that will continue to be developed this weekend. This type of mentality is something we pride on ourselves at the club, and we will prepare this week like we would any other.”
It is Saracens first semi-final appearance in this competition since 2008; when Saracens bowed out to eventual winners Munster. Sorrell played that game alongside current first-team scrum-half Neil De Kock and fellow coach Paul Gustard, and despite his personal disappointment Sorrell believes that the collective motivation of the club is what spurs the survivors of 2008 on.
“The 2008 semi-final was a disappointment for us way back then, but it holds no significance for us in the here and now.
“The guys who were around in 2008 don’t have any extra incentive to progress because of that experience. Knowing Neil and Paul as I do, the motivation this Sunday is to create another memory as a club; not to exorcise any individual demons.”