Saracens - Poparlan 'honoured' to represent Saracens

Feb 02, 2015

Poparlan 'honoured' to represent Saracens

Timisoara Saracens second row Valentin Poparlan has thanked Saracens for the warm welcome they afforded to him, after Timisoara Saracens forward represented the Premiership side in their 26-39 defeat to the Blue Bulls at the weekend.

The 40 time Romanian international travelled from the Global Network club in Romania to make his début for Saracens against the Blue Bulls at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Poparlan started and played the entire game. He combined well with Scottish international Jim Hamilton at the heart of the Saracens pack, carrying 9 times and making numerous tackles in an impressive début.

“Valentin did a fantastic job against the Blue Bulls. It’s not easy to get off the plane and integrate into a team of strangers, but his effort and attitude was excellent,” said Saracens’ Director of Rugby Mark McCall.

Poparlan was modest in reflection after the game: “We played at a very high level, I did not expect to cope so well, but I think with some luck I managed to adapt. I’ve been working in hard in training over the past few weeks, so I think that helped me.”

Poparlan’s inclusion highlights Saracens’ policy of giving opportunities to talented players from the Global Network. Timisoara Saracens winger Catalin Fercu , who’s been with Saracens since the start of the season, also played 20 minutes against the Blue Bulls on Saturday and shone during the club’s against all odds win away to London Welsh 24 hours later.

Poparlan will return to Romania where he will join up with the national team, who are competing in the European Rugby Championship (Portugal, Spain, Russia, Germany and Georgia). He hopes to return to play for Saracens one day.

“Every player would love to play in these colours, for this club (Saracens). Every player in Romania aspires to play in the Aviva Premiership or the Top 14. These are the best two leagues in the world.

“I was received with open arms, which is something – if I’m being honest – I did not expect. It would be an honour to play for the club again."

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