Oct 17, 2018
Lewington out to earn Champions Cup stripes
Alex Lewington is relishing the opportunity to play on the biggest club stage - the Heineken Champions Cup.
The winger made his first appearance in the competition as a replacement as Saracens edged out Glasgow Warriors in Round 1.
Playing in Europe, previously in the Challenge Cup, is something the former London Irish man has always enjoyed and he can’t wait to get stuck into some big contests further down the line.
He said: “I used to really enjoy the Challenge Cup because most of the time at Irish we were in a relegation battle so Premiership weeks were very stressful but when Europe came around it felt like a bit of a weight off your shoulders and it was a chance to express yourself.
“I’ve played in France, Italy, Georgia and Portugal which is one of the best things about it as a young player coming through and getting to play in hostile places like that is an amazing experience.
“In terms of the week and going into a Champions Cup match, it’s a step up. Hopefully I’ll play a bit longer this weekend and earn my stripes in the competition. You’re going up against the best teams in Europe and there’s a lot of pride behind all these teams which makes it exciting.
“I can’t wait to be involved in games against big teams who are the face of rugby in their countries.”
Saracens face Lyon at Allianz Park this weekend, a side they have never met before.
Lewington, too, has never met the French outfit during his career and is expecting another physical contest.
“It’s a bit of an unknown challenge,” he said.
“You can do your analysis and stuff but typically the french are quite unpredictable anyway and we’ve seen that in Lyon.
“They have very different styles in different games which is quite exciting really. They’re a big, physical team who have ball carriers everywhere which I think most French teams do so that’s a challenge in itself. We need to be physical and stop that.”