Oct 01, 2015
McCall backing Saracens starts to shine
Director of rugby Mark McCall has backed Saracens’ England contingent to shine this weekend after five players from the Premiership champions were named in the 23-man squad to face Australia at Twickenham Stadium.
England face the Wallabies in a do-or-die fixture on Saturday evening, with Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt both named to start. Farrell, who produced a commanding performance in England’s agonising defeat to Wales retains the No10 shirt, whilst Brad Barritt moves back to his customary inside centre role with Bath’s Jonathan Joseph returning to fold at outside centre.
Speaking about the Saracens representation in Saturday’s crunch clash, McCall said:“We’re extremely proud of all our players who have been involved in the Rugby World Cup so far and to have five players included in England’s squad for such a huge game is exciting news.”
“Owen’s performance last weekend fully justified his selection, and proved to everybody just how impressive his big match temperament is. Owen gets better on occasions like this, when perhaps some other players don’t. He rises to the occasion, as we saw last weekend his goal-kicking was phenomenal and when you look at how tight this game may be on Saturday that may prove to be the difference between the two sides.
“Much like Owen, Brad is one of the great competitors. When it comes to matches like this you want him in your corner and it is great to seeing him back in the No12 which is where he plays his best rugby and I think that’s where England will need him most. He’s going to be vital for them this weekend against a pretty exciting Australian backline.”
On the bench, lock forward George Kruis is set to make his Rugby World Cup bow if called upon, and he is joined by fellow Sarries, Mako Vunipola and Richard Wigglesworth.
“It’s great for the England management team to have the likes Mako and Richard to come on with 30 minutes to go,” said McCall. “During the course of the warm-up games, and the two Rugby World Cup fixtures Mako has been as good as anybody and for Richard, it’s reward for all the hard work he’s put in to get himself back in the England reckoning. For George, he has come a long way in the last 12 months and to be involved in a game of this magnitude is fantastic news for him.”