Jan 05, 2018
FEATURE: Wigglesworth Reflects Ahead of 200th Appearance
When Richard Wigglesworth lines up in the tunnel to play against Wasps he knows that he will be taking the field for the 200th time as a Saracens player. It will feel a long way from the first game he lined up for, against London Irish at Twickenham.
Since then he has helped the club to three Premiership titles, two Champions Cups and an Anglo-Welsh Cup that have collectively transformed the look of the club’s trophy cabinet and elevated the Men in Black into Europe’s elite as the current back-to-back European Champions.
However, as Wigglesworth admits himself, he never thought that he would become such a long-term player for Saracens; speaking of his arrival at the club he said: “I signed for three years and I told my wife that we’d be back up North after that; we’d just had Matilda who was only eight weeks old when we moved down.
“We’ve both loved it and settled in down south like I never thought we would and just massively enjoyed it which is a testament to the club and the way they do things.”
Wigglesworth has become a role model at the club for his work ethic and application, dedicating himself to improving his game and helping the team in any way possible. When he speaks it is clear how much the club means to him and how he sees his role in helping the squad get to where he feels they can go.
Even at 34 years of age, it is clear that the 27-times capped England international is hungry for added success: “I’m mad keen for more, I don’t think that the team has reached its full potential yet; I’m keen to improve and my body feels good so I’m happy to keep going and be a part of this group for as long as I can.
“This group wants to push on and that keeps your enthusiasm going as well, I just feel like I always have which is wanting to get better; I want help to win things. That’s why I came to the club, because I thought we were going to win.
“I’ve been blessed to be part of a very good group of players and one that can achieve more yet.”
Wigglesworth won the Premiership with Sale in 2006, starting in the Final, before making the move to Sarries in time for the 2010-11 season where he won the Premiership for the second time before representing England at the 2011 World Cup. He added Premiership successes in 2015 and 2016 while adding a second World Cup campaign to his CV in 2015
Asked whether he suspected Sarries would help him to the places and honours he’s won, he said: “I’d have bitten your hand off if you’d told me we would have the successes that we’ve had in my time here over those 200 games.
“It’s more than just the games though, It’s the memories made along the way, it’s opened my eyes to a different way of doing things; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and we’ve managed to win a bit as well so it was the perfect move for me really.”
The scrum-half also reminisced about what the group at Saracens means to him as he prepares for his first start since returning from injury that ruled him out during December before he returned as a sub against Worcester Warriors at Allianz Park last weekend.
He explained: “I’m lucky to be a part of such a great group of lads, you make friends and have such a good time day to day, it really does have everything; I didn’t think I’d be here this long or enjoy it as much as I have.
“It’s just great to be part of a group so varied with so many internationals from all over the world playing for us, I’ve made some brilliant memories and lifelong friends along the way.
“I might not have changed that much, I’m still a straight-talking northerner but I definitely appreciate different things and what makes people tick.”
Why not celebrate this momentous milestone by treating yourself to one of our ‘200 appearance balls’ available online and in the Saracens shop https://www.saracenssuperstore.com/equipment/balls .