NEXT UP | Sarries shift focus to Sixways
Next up for Saracens is a trip to Sixways to take on Worcester Warriors. Worcester might be 12th in the Gallagher Premiership table, but they are at the start of a long-term project which they hope will eventually propel them to new heights under their new director of rugby Steve Diamond.
The former Sale Sharks boss took the helm before Christmas replacing former Wales back-row star Jonathan Thomas. And while results haven’t gone the way he would have hoped there are tangible signs of better days ahead for Worcester.
Given there’s 10 places separating Saracens and Worcester it’s safe to say Mark McCall’s men will be heavy favourites when they rock up at Sixways, but the visitors won’t be underestimating their opponents. Saracens will want to keep the momentum going as they targeta home semi-final.
Saracens last played against Worcester on Boxing Day at the StoneX Stadium when they recorded a crushing 61-29 victory. They ran in nine tries that day courtesy of Alex Lewington (twice), Billy Vunipola (twice), Nick Tompkins, Alex Goode, Nick Isiekwe, Ben Earl, and Max Malins in what was arguably their best attacking performance of the season to date.
Given the return fixture in on Worcester’s own patch one would expect it to be far more of a contest, but Saracens will travel with confidence. A week later Saracens travel to Kingsholm to face Gloucester in the quarter-final of the European Challenge Cup. Saracens overcame a gutsy Cardiff Rugby side in an entertaining clash at the StoneX Stadium a fortnight ago but will need to improve to beat the Cherry & Whites.
While McCall’s side would prefer to be playing in the Heineken Champions Cup, which they look set to be in next season, the Challenge Cup provides a good opportunity to add to their history of winning European silverware. But Gloucester will have similar ideas, and with the likes of Louis Rees-Zammit, Billy Twelvetrees, Ruan Ackermann, and Ollie Thorley in their ranks they will pose a significant threat both in the forwards and out wide.
George Skivington’s side beat Northampton Saints 31-21 in the round of 16 with Thorley, Val-Rapava Rusking, Matias Alemanno, and Santiago Socino touching down for tries. The last time both sides player in the Gallagher Premiership in January Gloucester pulled off a 25-24 victory at StoneX Stadium so the visitors will not need to be told of how good the Cherry & Whites can be on their day.
It’s set to be an enthralling encounter of knock out rugby between two sides who go out onto the field not only to win but to entertain the crowd. The business end of the season has now arrived, and the next two games against Worcester Warriors, and Gloucester will be crucial.