Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall admits the ongoing exclusion of fullback Alex Goode from Eddie Jones’ England team bothers him.
Goode has produced another outstanding season as a full-back who can cover fly-half in Owen Farrell’s absence and McCall struggles to understand Eddie Jones’ refusal to pick him for England.
“It does bother me because we want all of our players to get what they deserve. He has been so brilliant for our club for so long that sometimes it is hard to fathom,” McCall said.
“It is not in our control. What is in Alex’s control is how well he plays and most people think he is playing pretty well.
“He is superb with the younger players. When the internationals do go away he has been captaining our team. He is a really important member of the club.”
Goode insists Saracens must scale new heights if they are to reclaim their Heineken Champions Cup crown from Leinster.
The heavyweights of European rugby clash at St James’ Park on Saturday with Saracens looking to win a third title after losing to Stuart Lancaster’s holders in the quarter-finals last year.
“We’ve got to make sure we take our game to the next level on a huge occasion,” Goode said.
“We’re under no illusions how tough that will be but this group is constantly seeking to remain on an upward curve.
“This group of guys is massively motivated to keep improving. We want to win as much as we can and really be a dominant force.
“To have been unbeaten in Europe this season and played as well as we have is great
but we know we’ve got a massive task this weekend against a top side.
“It’s going to be a massive game and you’re testing yourself against the best. That’s why you play rugby, to play against the best teams in the best club competition in the world in my eyes.
“If you’re not excited by that and playing at St James’ Park, you’re probably in the wrong gig.”
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