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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, April 9th 2019

Saracens press in brief: five things we learned

Head coach Pat Lam and fly half, Callum Sheedy faced the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Saracens at Ashton Gate - here's what we learned from this week's press session.


'World class' challenge

Callum Sheedy says Bristol Bears will embrace the challenge of reigning champions Saracens, as they prepare to face Mark McCall’s side at Ashton Gate on Saturday. 

“We’re really looking forward to it. Everyone knows they’re a world class side and they’ve been at the top of the chain in Europe for the last five or six years, so we know it’s going to be a huge test but one we’re really relishing.

“You look around their pitch and their bench, there are internationals everywhere, so we know we’re testing ourselves against the best and you couldn’t ask for a better place or opportunity.”



Twickenham bonus

Pat Lam admitted errors had proved costly at Twickenham, but praised his side's character in battling back to earn a losing bonus-point.

"We know we made some fundamental errors that allowed Bath to score some tries, but I can’t fault the effort.

"I’ve been through it many times and seen the amount of effort the boys put in, and to get a bonus-point in that game when we were 19-3 down says a lot about the group.

"We have a plan and we have a process of where we’re trying to get to."


First-rate Farrell

For the second time this season, Sheedy could come face-to-face with England number ten, Owen Farrell at Ashton Gate on Saturday, and the 24-year-old hailed the Saracens fly half as ‘the best in Europe’.

“It’s a match-up I’m really looking forward to. I played against him in round two and then we trained against England a few weeks ago and you can see the aurora he has around the group and the way he leads.

“I think he’s the best fly-half in Europe, so to test myself against someone of his quality, would be exciting." 


No fear

Lam said his side will approach Saturday's game with 'no fear'.

"There’s no fear. It’s about teamwork, togetherness, standing firm and meeting the challenges.

"All I’d say is that for us, as a group, we have complete understanding and confidence of what we’re trying to do.

"Learnings happen whether you win or lose, that’s life, and if you show me someone who admits they don’t learn, that’s someone you don’t really want to be around."


Injury update

Lam gave a full update on injuries and unavailabilities ahead of the weekend.

"Luke (Daniels) is going through the HIA protocols, that’s a day by day thing, but the disappointing news is Luke Morahan. He’s done his AC joint and will probably need surgery, so he’s out for the rest of the season.

"Sam Jeffries, unfortunately, did a syndesmosis injury in the Sunday game, and Jordan Crane is a doubt for this week with a hamstring injury.

"We also have the sad news of Siale and Charles (Piutau) losing their beloved sister on the day of the game on Saturday morning. So they both head home for the funeral this weekend and our condolences, best wishes and prayers are with the family."


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