Jan 03, 2018
McCall Calls For Strong Defence Against Wasps
Mark McCall has called on his players to replicate recent away performances in Clermont and Leicester as he and his side prepare to travel to face Wasps on Sunday.
Sarries currently sit second in the Aviva Premiership, one place and one point above the Coventry based 2017 finalists and speaking on Tuesday McCall impressed upon his players the need to replicate the defensive intensity of recent away games.
He said: “We’ve done okay recently, the performance in Clermont was good, the Leicester performance was an outstanding one and we were for the most part disappointed some of what we produced against Worcester.
“We know we can’t be like that this weekend, Wasps’ attack is very dangerous and we’ve got to defend the way we did in the Clermont and Leicester away games.”
McCall also provided an update on the squad’s current injury status, in particular Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola who were both back in training with Saracens following the England training camp in Brighton and are in contention for the weekend.
He explained: “Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje took part in training today and we’ll decide later in the week as to their involvement in the game on Sunday.
“Jaw injuries can vary from 4-12 weeks really, Maro’s surgeon expected it to be at the lower end of that and four weeks was last Sunday so this recovery time is about right.
“He’s been able to train and to run from a week after it happened so he’s been able to play a full part in what we’ve been doing since then.”
This weekend will mark the 200th Saracens appearance of Richard Wigglesworth, the stalwart has won three Premiership titles and two Champions Cups since joining from Sale in 2010 and McCall was full of praise for the scrum-half:
“It’s a great achievement, he’s somebody that we can use as an example to younger players in terms of the drive he has to improve and get better every year.”
He added: “He’s not satisfied with what he’s achieved in his career, which is a lot and he’s got a will and desire to get better every day; which a lot of people say they have but aren’t really prepared to sacrifice and do the hard work."
“He’s one of those who definitely is, he’s a very driven player and even at the age of 34 is one of the hardest working players at the club.”