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How Saracens are turning to the Premier League for inspiration

By Chris Jones
Owen Farrell of Saracens looks on during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Saracens and Bristol Bears at the StoneX Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Barnet, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Saracens backs coach Kevin Sorrell is tapping into the expertise of leading Premier league football teams to ensure the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions keep challenging their players as they chase a league and Investec Champions Cup double this season.

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Saracens are preparing for a January fixture list that could define their season with league games against Leicester (away this Saturday) and Exeter (home) either side of Champions Cup matches away at Bordeaux Begles and home to Lyon.

Sorrell and the Saracens coaches know they have to keep on finding an edge to maintain the club’s position at the forefront of the English game and that is why he was at West Ham last night, although the choice of the London Stadium also meant he could support his favourite team as they drew 0-0 with Brighton & Hove Albion.

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The former centre who played more than 300 times for Saracens, said: “We have had Premier League clubs in with us like Arsenal, Spurs and Brighton and have been able to talk to them about how they do things. Because football is more fluid there are a lot more decisions to be made and it’s the transitions that you can get ideas from and how they flick from those pretty quickly. There are some brilliant things to see in terms of attack and where they go from and why and how it compliments players.

“I remember a brilliant article about Pep Guardiola a few years ago about how he looks at the game and what he demands from his players. There are little snippets you can take and try apply them to our game and there are some principles and how you want things to be done. You want players to be engaged and you can hopefully take that from football to ensure people are in the positions we want them to be (in attack).”

Sorrell insists Saracens are yet to find the consistency the coaches are striving to achieve this season with four defeats in the Premiership and the loss to the Bulls in Pretoria in the Champions Cup highlighting areas that need to be addressed. “We have seen glimpses of where we want to be but it is the consistency in a couple like Harlequins and Leicester where we were good versions of ourselves,” he explained.

“There have been games where we have been up and down and we are working to get the version we want. Going to Leicester this weekend there will be some things we change, but overall it is about utilizing what we can do to get one up on them.”

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