May 10, 2017
Wray Praises Sarries Experience Ahead of Champions Cup Final
Jackson Wray has explained the importance of experience within the squad ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup Final against Clermont in Edinburgh.
The squad will travel up on Friday ahead of Saturday’s final where they will seek to defend their title that they won for the first time in 2016. Wray was a part of the team that won the Champions Cup out in Lyon and says that the team is more experienced this year.
He said: “The lads are far more experienced as a group this time around, we now know what we need to do and the lengths we need to go to perform, I think we know that if we play to the best of our abilities and play to each other’s strengths we know how good we can be and how tough we are to play against.”
“I suppose, for us, it’s about getting ourselves in the right place to be able to perform at that high level to bring the best out in each other so we can go out there and try to do it again.”
Academy graduate Wray has been ever-present this season for Sarries as they seek to defend their Premiership and European crowns.
The 26-year-old also spoke of the positive mentality in the squad, saying: “We’ve been training really well this week, we did a lot of detail on Tuesday and Wednesday, the boys are looking good and very focussed on what’s going to be a tough game at the weekend.
“We just try and keep things enjoyable and keep it flowing during the week. I think motivation-wise, obviously a European Cup final is motivation in itself.”, he added, “Everyone is excited to go up there and test ourselves again at the highest level, the boys have been in very good spirits.”
Clermont currently sit second in the Top 14 and were beaten Champions Cup finalists in 2013 and 2013. On both those occasions they were beaten by Toulon, but beat them in the quarter finals this time around and have earned the admiration of the back-rower.
Wray spoke about their strengths, explaining: “Clermont are a very good side, very physical and very dominant up front, they’ve got some dangerous outside backs, they play with a lot of width and win lots of turnovers.”
“We need to be ready to work hard, forwards-wise we need to be dominant and try and take some of their strengths away from them.
“From then, we just need to be committed to the whole day and try and make the most of opportunities we get through our game-plan by working hard.
“Hopefully if we can do that then we’ll get a good result.”