Mar 07, 2017
Anglo-Welsh Cup run a 'real team effort' - McCall
Saracens’ Anglo-Welsh Cup run can provide the club with a shot-in-the-arm for the rest of the season says director of rugby Mark McCall.
Under the stewardship of Academy coach’s Don Barrell and Ian Vass, a youthful Saracens side booked their place in the final four after an impressive group stage having progressed to the last-four of the competition for the fourth successive season.
The success of the Saracens Anglo-Welsh Cup squad is something that has not been lost of the club’s Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, who has praised the impact the side have had on the wider Saracens squad throughout the season.
“The whole Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign has been a real team effort,” said McCall, “not just from the playing and coaching staff, but from all the support staff that have been involved in the group.
"Don Barrell (Academy Manager) and Ian Vass (Academy Coach) have done an incredible job to build this team within a team. There’s a great energy and a fantastic buzz amongst this side and we hope that Saracens fans will be there to support them at Allianz Park.
“A home semi-final in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this weekend, a home quarter-final in Europe, and being well placed in the Aviva Premiership is testament to the hard-work of everybody at the training ground and it’s a very exciting time for everyone involved at the club.”
The Saracens’ Anglo-Welsh adventure has been extended for at least one more game with the Men in Black welcoming rivals Leicester Tigers to Allianz Park on Saturday March 14. The excitement within the Anglo-Welsh Cup group is already building ahead of Saturday’s clash at Allianz Park.
Having played an entertaining brand of rugby in the competition, the side have run in 16 tries in four games, and are only behind Exeter Chiefs in the points scored standings, and coach Don Barrell is hoping for another strong performance from his young side.
“We have a good mix of players in the squad,” said Barrell, “with the boys who have made up the Storm team, a few older heads plus some guest players from other clubs. The campaign has been great, we’ve had a really good win on the road in Llanelli and we’ve produced some composed, mature performances against the Falcons and Leicester at home and played some really good rugby."
Barrell added: “A home semi-final against a team as strong as Leicester is another challenge for us, but one that we’re all relishing.”