Nov 09, 2015
Saracens Euro start can 'focus mind' - McCall
Mark McCall believes Saracens’ tough start to the 2015/16 European Champions Cup will give his side the perfect opportunity to fine-tune their approach to the competition.
Having qualified for the final four of the Europe’s premier club competition for the last three seasons McCall’s side have recently been English rugby’s flag bearers in the revamped Champions Cup.
“The lesson that all the teams have learned really is that you have to pick up every point you can when it is available,” said McCall, ahead of the club’s opening European Champions Cup clash this Saturday against Toulouse.
“Last year we qualified as the eighth placed team but we got that by virtue of a losing bonus point that we got away from home and you have just got to fight for every point in the competition.”
On Saturday, his side welcome four-time European Cup winners Toulouse to Allianz Park, and a week later they will travel to Belfast to face McCall’s former side, Ulster.
“Our first two games can focus the minds quite a lot,” said McCall. “We play Toulouse first up at Allianz Park and they are a great European team with a great European pedigree, but also playing very well this season.
“They have won six games out of seven in the Top14 already this season and they beat Montpellier in Montpellier so that shows you they can win away from home as well.
“We follow that up with a trip to Ulster and we all know how hard it is to win there. We have played Ulster twice in two quarter-finals since I left the club.
“Those were two great games and the other at their stadium. It is one of the best places to play rugby. I think they have done a phenomenal job and the atmosphere that they have got there is one our players look forward to.”