Jul 09, 2018
Continuity is everything - Sanderson
Alex Sanderson admits it will be a while until Saracens full attention turns to the opening fixture of the Gallagher Premiership at Newcastle Falcons.
The squad were back in for pre-season training on 2nd July in preparation for the 2018/19 campaign.
Sarries’ three new signings – Alex Lewington, David Strettle and Tom Woolstencroft – have integrated into group well and with not too many first team outgoings, and the coaches all signing new contracts, Sanderson feels the consistency at the club is a massive factor in having more success.
“The sun is shining, we’re getting fit and we’re fully believe we’re the best team in the world as there isn’t any games at the weekend!” he quipped.
“It’s a slow build-up, we’re not even talking about Newcastle at the moment; we’re just working on processes. As the time gets closer we’ll be building up to the start of the Premiership and to be honest, when you’ve not played for a few months they have a lot of residual excitement; it’s the start of the new campaign and that carries its own enthusiasm.”
He continued: “Continuity is everything. You can do the studies and the evidence out there is the best sporting teams who have success and longevity have succession plans and have lifers – players and coaches who are committed to the club for life and that’s the only way you can maintain and sustain a strong culture and environment.
“Having said that, the one caveat is complacency because you account for people’s weaknesses. You have to keep having those difficult conversations and keep asking ‘why are we doing this?’ and not just go with the flow all the time. We’ve got a good relationship amongst the players and coaches to question each other, keep each other on our toes and keep performing.”
Elsewhere in the Premiership, there have been a lot of changes amongst coaching staff, something Sanderson believes will add to the competition.
“There’s been a big influx in coaching talent into the Gallagher Premiership – Chris Boyd at Northampton, Gustard at Harlequins who I think is going to have a brilliant season and I’m super chuffed for him. He properly deserves it.
“And then there’s Pat Lam at Bristol; he’s going to have a big influence in the Premiership after doing well in the Pro 14 and in Europe with Connacht.
“It’s exciting to see how some of the rugby styles will change as the game is changing and it puts a little spice into the Premiership. I fully expect it to be as competitive as last year.”