Rugby

Saracens' England stars will be fit to face Boks

2018-05-27 12:23
Owen Farrell (Getty Images)
Owen Farrell (Getty Images)

Twickenham - Mark McCall has insisted Eddie Jones can rest easy in the knowledge that the England internationals on show in Saracens' fourth English Premiership final triumph in seven years at Twickenham will be fit and ready to fire against the Springboks next month.

Saracens' director of rugby gave the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Jamie George, Billy and Mako Vunipola the all-clear to go and get stuck into the three-Test campaign in South Africa before going off to help his players celebrate their latest title success.

There had been concerns for Farrell, in particular, who limped off the field after receiving treatment in the second half of the 27-10 victory over Exeter in the final at Twickenham on Saturday.

The influential back had been hurt in a collision, while Billy Vunipola also seemed to be struggling as he came off the field after less than an hour of a game he almost missed due to a hamstring problem.

England coach Jones was in the crowd, watching on with a mixture of excitement, enjoyment and slight worry given his Test squad was already struggling with injuries to key players, while others needed a well-deserved rest.

But McCall said: "Owen is fine and so are the other England guys. There are no problems for any of them.

"They all played a huge part in this success along with every other player in a Sarries jersey out there.

"I thought Maro was absolutely outstanding. He was such a physical presence around the field, and showed everyone just how important he is to the team. Mako was also excellent, and Billy gave us nearly an hour of what Billy does best. That's carry the ball outstandingly and give the opposition so many things to think about.

"Considering the level of the opponent today this was our best performance in a Twickenham final.

"It's wonderful for Schalk (Brits) and Chris (Wyles) to leave us in this manner, having given the club so much over the years.

"Both have been absolute legends at the club and have helped build the incredible culture there is here. Both will be missed."

Meanwhile Farrell insisted: "It was just a bit of cramp.

"There's no pain and I will be fine for South Africa. I will celebrate this win and then think about England."

American wing Wyles crossed for two tries on his final Saracens appearance and South African hooker Brits, 37, marked his farewell to rugby ahead of a new life studying business at Oxford University by being sin-binned within six minutes of appearing as a replacement.

McCall insisted: "Chris took his two tries very well, and showed just what we will miss from him. He's a superb runner with the ball and finisher. We wish him the best for the future, and the same to Schalk."

Brits admitted: "I'm not sure what I would have thought if Exeter had come back and beat us. I would have regretted it for a long time. Fortunately, the boys had got the job done and it wasn't a big problem in the end.

"But I did not plan to finish that way! I will really miss this club and all the guys.

"I just want to have a lot of beers with them now and celebrate for a few days."

Exeter boss Rob Baxter predicted his Chiefs would be a stronger side for tasting defeat at Twickenham, having defeated Wasps in last year's final.

"Nobody likes losing a final but Saracens are a very, very strong side who know how to win the big games," Baxter said.

"You have to take the rough with the smooth in any top sport, and the boys will learn a lot from this experience.

"We have come up short but the guys gave me everything and did not let anyone down. We will be back next time and hopefully make it to a third successive final."

Read more on:    england  |  saracens  |  owen farrell  |  rugby
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