Oct 31, 2014
Shaw 'excited' by Harlequins challenge
Joe Shaw will take charge of Saracens on Sunday, alongside Academy coaches Don Barrell, Rory Teague and Ian Vass whenthey face Harlequins in round one of the LV=Cup, kick-off 13h00.
Speaking about taking charge of Saracens at the weekend, Shaw said; “It’s a fantastic opportunity and privilege to lead any side at Saracens. In the last couple of years I’ve seen Alex (Sanderson), Gussy (Paul Gustard) lead the LV=Cup campaigns and I’ve seen how much it has aided their development, so I thought it was great opportunity when I was asked - I’m really excited by it.
“All the way through this club, everybody has relationships with everybody. We all know each other inside out, and that goes for the coaching staff as well. I have been helped this week by coaches such as Don Barrell, Rory Teague and Ian Vass, they have been fantastic.”
Saracens have picked a team with a blend of youth and experience to face Harlequins, with 20-year-old Maro Itoje skippering the side and Argentine Juan Figallo making his Saracens debut at tighthead prop.
“I’m especially excited for Juan,” said Shaw. “Since he has arrived Juan has a couple of injury set-backs, but every morning he comes into work with a huge smile on his face and has been positive throughout his time here - we’re all very happy to see him playing on Sunday."
“If you look at the lads coming into the side, we have Nick Tompkins who gets his chance on Sunday and Maro Itoje who will skipper the side this weekend. Maro is ready for this next step, he’s an ambitious guy who speaks with maturity and leads by example and he’s someone we all think will blossom very quickly.”
Shaw added; “The younger guys have some fantastic experience around them; they have World Cup players, Heineken Cup finalists and Premiership winners in amongst them to lean on. It’s a good group, and a group that has been really committed during the week.”