Jul 03, 2015
McCall looks ahead to Premiership season
Saracens open the defence of their Aviva Premiership Rugby title at home to Sale Sharks on Saturday 17 October, Premiership Rugby confirmed today.
Five weeks ago Saracens lifted the title at Twickenham with a 28-16 victory over Bath Rugby and are now looking forward to starting their campaign for back-to-back titles.
Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: "Sale Sharks at home is a very difficult start. We know how strong a team they are after we faced the Sharks in both Aviva Premiership Rugby and the European Rugby Champions Cup last season. Those four games were tremendously competitive and very tight contests.
"Sale are well-coached side, and they won't have many players away on international duty. We know that the fixture list has provided us with a tough opening game.
"The opening fixtures are hard to forecast for us, as we currently have 21 players away on international duty in their respective training camps, with guys away with England, Scotland, Argentina, South Africa, Romania, USA and Namibia, the list goes on.
"It's a massive test for the depth of our squad as the season starts a week after the Rugby World Cup pool stages, so until then we don't know exactly who we'll have available but it provides the younger members of our squad with the opportunity to get some valuable Aviva Premiership experience.”
Due to the Rugby World Cup the traditional season opener, the London Double Header, has been moved to Saturday 28 November when Saracens host newly-promoted Worcester Warriors and London Irish are at home to Wasps in back-to-back fixtures at Twickenham Stadium.
"The London Double Header is a fixture our group really enjoy playing in,” McCall added.
"It's a bit strange this season as it is usually the season opener, but this year it will be played once the season is all up and running. The last time we were at Twickenham was a fantastic experience so to go back there will be great opportunity for some of our younger players to test themselves on the big stage. "
In addition to a match at Twickenham, Saracens will make their annual trip to Wembley on Saturday 16 April, where they once again face Harlequins. The champions set a new world record for attendance at a club rugby match last season when 84,068 watched them beat Harlequins 42-14.