England winger David Strettle maintains Saracens’ defence will be the key to dethroning champions Leicester in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership
In a rematch of last year’s final that saw the Tigers win 33-27, Saracens head into the fixture as the league’s form team with 12 straight wins and also the meanest defence having shipped just 26
tries in the league all season.
That record will be put to the test at Twickenham against Leicester – who have scored nearly twice Saracens’ total of just 35 league tries.
But Strettle says there is no fear factor surrounding the Tigers after doing the double over them this season.
“I think the big thing about beating Leicester twice was defence. They’re a team who will bring so much physicality to you and you have to give it back,” said Strettle - where he took part in an
exhibition wheelchair rugby match with Cadbury Spots v Stripes.
“It was such a close game against Leicester at their place and it’s going to be a tough ask to do it a third time but it’s what we do.
“Leicester’s main strength is their belief. When you go into every game with the confidence they can win along with the fantastic players they have got, they can be very hard to beat.
“But we have done the double over them this season so it proves they are not a side we have to be scared of.”
In terms of individual match-ups, Strettle arguably has the hardest job of anyone as he is likely to face Samoan powerhouse Alesana Tuilagi.
Tuilagi, who has scored 13 tries in his last 17 games, has a record of running over the opposition in finals as the likes of Eoin Reddan, Shane Horgan and Ryan Lamb have discovered.
However Strettle, who at 13st 5lb is five stone lighter than Tuilagi, is confident the Tigers’ beast can be tamed.
He said: “Alesana’s such a big fella, he’s got so much power there and he’s got the ability to run over people.
“But one of the best tackles this year was when Mouritz Botha put a hell of a shot on him.
“You want to be in a situation where you’re not hitting him in ones – you’re hitting him in twos and threes. You want to let him know you are there and put him on his back.”