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Saracens captain Steve Borthwick admits 'Everyone is excited about what is ahead'
2:30pm Friday 31st August 2012 in Sport
Saracens captain Steve Borthwick believes the club have improved over the summer and is “excited” ahead of the forthcoming season. Sarries begin their campaign with an Aviva Premiership clash against London Irish at Twickenham tomorrow (Saturday).
Despite the side narrowly missing out on the defence of the Premiership title last season – and being the only English club in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals – Borthwick believes the club needed to improve over the summer.
He told the club’s website: “It was a frustrating year last year but there were positives being only two points off the top, having young players come through and being the only English club to reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
“But ultimately we want to improve, we need to improve, and I think we have because everyone else will be in this highly competitive league that we are in.”
Sarries’ pre-season matches have seen victories against Bedford Blues, Stade Francais and Rotherham, but defeats against Benetton Treviso and a star-studded BGC Asia Pacific Barbarians team in Hong Kong.
The club also competed in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series but missed out on a spot in the final for the first time in the competition’s history.
Borthwick believes pre-season has been a success and is looking forward to getting back into action against the Exiles this weekend.
“Pre-season has gone really well and you get to that point where everyone is just looking forward to getting stuck into the season,” he explained.
“You want to play those big games. So everyone is excited about what is ahead. It's been nice for me to have a first full pre-season in a decade and get involved in the great coaching we have at Saracens .”
During the off-season, several younger players at the club were given the chance to impress. Borthwick admits there are several players who could make an impact in the starting XV but has tipped three players in particular to look out for.
He said: “You should keep an eye on prop Mako Vunipola because I think he is a phenomenal prospect and he is going to go very, very far. He was the best player on the pitch on the tour to Hong Kong, he was fantastic.
“Then George Kruis, who I think is a phenomenal player, will hopefully one day soon get to play in an England shirt.
“There are loads I could choose but Will Fraser played a lot of rugby towards the end of last season and he’s a tough competitor who I think could really do things for Saracens this year moving forward,” the skipper added.
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