Mark McCall wants Saracen’s young stars to emulate Owen Farrell

Saracens head coach Mark McCall calls on his young stars to follow in the footsteps of Owen Farrell

owen farrell
England fly-half Owen Farrell Photo: The Sport Review

Saracens head coach Mark McCall has called on his young stars to follow in the footsteps of Owen Farrell and use the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series as a stepping stone into the first-team.

The likes of Farrell, who this summer was part of the successful British and Irish Lions tour Down Under, Jamie George and Jackson Wray have all given their chance in the first-team in the shorter form of the game since the Series began.

Champions in the inaugural tournament in 2010 and runners-up in 2011, Saracens were denied a place in the final by Gloucester Rugby last year.

But with Group C taking place at their new home of Allianz Park, McCall is hoping that his side can kick off the new campaign with some silverware.

“Preparations have been going really well, we’ve had the majority of the players in now for three and half weeks and the international lads filtering back but the boys have been working really hard and it’s all been going well,” he said.

“It’s tough from day one and this time of year you work on different things like strength speed and conditioning as well as a lot of skill development so it is a hard time of year for the guys.

“The 7s is really important vehicle if we look at history off players who have come through our club in last 7 seasons we’ve had a bit of a who’s who, Owen Farrell, Jackson Wray, Jamie George and all those players got their first action for us in the sevens so it shows how important it is for us.

“We’ll have a couple of big names in the squad but as for the international players it’s too early for them to play so the young guys will all get their chance.”

Winger James Wilson is one of those expected to be given his chance when Group C gets underway on 3 August.

The New Zealander has had to wait his turn in the first team with the likes of England internationals David Strettle and Chris Ashton for company.

And the 23-year-old insists he is chomping at the bit to strut his stuff next week.

“Obviously Saracens have a good stock of wingers so ill have to just wait my chance and when I get the chance take it,” he said.

“Sevens will be fun, I’ve always enjoyed the 7s games. You know, there is always plenty of space out there so ill have to see how the fitness holds up for it but I’m looking forward to getting the ball in my hands.

“There’s always a certain amount of pressure that comes with the Saracens jersey and we seem to have won a few of the tournaments so this one should be good.

“Anytime is a good time to make an impression to get into the first team, whether it be training or a pre-season tournament, so hopefully I’ll get out there do my thing and score a couple of tries hopefully winning some silverware will be a good start.”

The third leg of J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s will be at Allianz Park, the home of Saracens, on Saturday 3 August. For tickets and more information visit: wwwjpmorgan7s.com or follow @jpmorganrugby7s

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