Director of Rugby/ Head Coach: Mark McCall
Captain: Brad Barritt
Stadium: Allianz Park (Capacity: 10,000)
Last Season: Champions
Saracens had a hugely successful season last time out completing a European-Premiership double.
The London based club are awash with international talent with seven of the squad picked to tour with England in June to Australia. Alex Goode, Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola all playing a part in the tour.
Saracens solid defensive style due to the ‘wolfpack’ instilled by former defence coach Paul Gustard and the the ability of Owen Farrell to manage the game makes them the most well drilled side in the Premiership.
Patterned play and effective breakdown work sets them apart from their rivals. Their ability to carry round the corner and explode past the defender in the ruck allows them to use phase play as an attacking weapon.
THREE TO WATCH
Position: Fly-Half/Centre Nationality: English Age: 24 Height: 1.88m Weight: 96kg
The England fly-half is the key to Saracens attacking play, his goal kicking and game management allow Saracens to continue playing in the right areas of the field so he can kick the points.
His defensive game is the best of any Premiership fly-half and his attacking game has come on leaps and bounds over the past season. He now has this style of playing whats in front of him which has given Saracens an extra gear.
He’ll be on the Lions tour come June.
Position: Lock/Flanker Nationality: English Age: 21 Height: 1.95m Weight: 116kg
The Saracens lock had an outstanding year winning every game he started for both Saracens and England. He became an international superstar, people in Australia will know the name now.
The 21 year old was an outstanding presence to have in the dressing room, almost a lucky charm. The power and pace he possesses is extraordinary but the lock just wants to keep improving and continue to grow as a rugby player.
Position; Number Eight Nationality: English Age: 23 Height: 1.88m Weight: 126kg
The number eight was undoubtedly England’s player of the season form which was equally impressive for his club.
His ball carrying and size make him a really dangerous player to have attacking the fringes and the way he works with a back row is really important to Saracens breakdown work, the addition of Schalk Burger will further improve this dynamic.
Schalk Burger (Western Stormers, SAF)
Mark Flanagan (Bedford Blues, ENG)
Vincent Koch (Western Stormers, SAF)
Alex Lozowski (Wasps, ENG)
Sean Maitland (London Irish, ENG)
Savenaca Rawaca (Fiji Sevens, INT)
Biyi Alo (Worcester Warriors, ENG)
Jacques Burger (Retired, RET)
Catalin Fercu (Timisora Saracens, ROM)
Rhys Gill (Cardiff Blues, WAL)
Charlie Hodgson (Retired, RET)
Kieran Longbottom (Sale Sharks, ENG)
Aaron Morris (Harlequins, ENG)
Thretton Palamo (Bristol Rugby, ENG)
Dave Porecki (London Irish, ENG)
Ben Ransom (London Irish, ENG)
The capture of Burger is a hugely impressive signing and he will add to Saracens already impressive back row resources. Maitland adds some pace out wide and Koch will provide depth in the front row.
Hodgson and Burger have been great servants to the club and leave with heavy hearts. Gill will be missed for his scrum work and Biyi Alo is an exciting prospect.
My Saracens 23
15 Alex Goode 14 Chris Ashton 13 Duncan Taylor 12 Brad Barritt (Captain) 11 Chris Wyles 10 Owen Farrell 9 Richard Wigglesworth
1 Mako Vunipola 2 Schalk Brits 3 Petrus Du Plessis 4 Maro Itoje 5 George Kruis 6 Jackson Wray 7 Schalk Burger 8 Billy Vunipola
16 Jamie George 17 Vincent Koch 18 Billy Walker 19 Alistair Hargreaves 20 Will Fraser 21 Ben Spencer 22 Alex Lozowski 23 Sean Maitland
Saracens are clearly the side to beat this season.