Aviva Premiership Club-by-Club: Saracens

SaracensTeam: Saracens
Coach: Brendan Venter
Home ground: Vicarage Road

Players In:
Kelly Brown (back-row, Glasgow), Deon Carstens (prop, Sharks), Nils Mordt (centre, Harlequins), Matt Parr (prop, Nottingham), David Strettle (wing, Harlequins), Richard Wigglesworth (scrum-half, Sale)

Players Out:
Matius Aguero (prop, Aironi), Richard Haughton (wing, Wasps), Glen Jackson (fly-half, retired), Kas Lelamanua (prop, released), Justin Marshall (scrum-half, retired), Tom Mercey (prop, Northampton), Fabio Ongaro (hooker, Aironi), Michael Owen (number eight, retired), Moses Rauluni (scrum-half, retired), Kevin Sorrell (centre, retired), Wikus van Heerden (Lions)

Strengths:
Saracens showed very different sides to their personality last season. Early on, they played a dull, conservative and highly effective game that won them more games than admirers, but then later in the season, they let themselves play with more width and put together some of the most exciting performances – not least in the season climax that so nearly won them the trophy.

Weaknesses:
One concern may be in the back-row where two of last season’s top performers, Michael Owen and Wikus van Heerden, have both left the club. Owen has been forced to retire at the ripe old age of 29 after talks with other clubs broke down due to failed medicals. Kelly Brown ought to be able to slot in with Ernst Joubert and Andy Saull but there’s a slight lack of depth there.

One to watch:
Alex Goode had a phenomenal season last year, and many felt that he should have been higher up the England pecking order. Another strong showing could see him force his way into the reckoning for the Rugby World Cup next year.

Last season:
2nd

Prediction:
If Saracens can maintain their camaraderie and keep the squad relatively injury-free they should be able to pick up some big wins during international weekends as they are unlikely to be troubled by too many call-ups – 2nd

7 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Club-by-Club: Saracens

  1. Two top performers last season Wikus Van Heerdan and Michael Owen? Owen didn’t play due to injury and Wikus left half way through the season… Jacques Burger has been immense since he joined mid way through. Back row is hardly a weakness – Fly half cover would have been a better choice.

  2. Perhaps more thorough research prior to publishing needed. Michael Owen plays for Manchester United now. Can I be a journalist please. It appears a very loose grasp of “facts” are needed. Get thee zum zider in ee

  3. Fair point on the back row, and it’s a credit to the the Sarries side that it’s difficult to identify weaknesses. I think Kelly Brown could actually be a great signing and should fit in well, Andy Saull is one of my favourite players and Burger isn’t half-bad either.

    Sarries are definitely up there as one of the teams to beat this year.

  4. Surely it is our front row that is the weakness!! It has been for the latter part of last season, so Hutch I’m amazed that the usual moaners haven’t brought to your attention the fact that we are not good in the scrum (tongue fixed to cheek), what a great diversion this is. Back row will be ok, front row will be too!
    Chin up Hutch, you’ll get there.

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