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McCall issues Barritt fitness update

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Mark McCall issues update on Brad Barritt's fitness for Premiership final

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Saracens will give Brad Barritt every opportunity to prove his fitness for Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final after receiving encouraging news on the hamstring injury sustained against Gloucester.

Barritt lasted only 28 minutes of the play-off at Allianz Park and was considered highly unlikely to be involved in the climax to the season at Twickenham, but the damage is not as severe as first feared.

Nick Tompkins claimed a hat-trick as his replacement and will start against Exeter at inside centre if Barritt fails to recover, but director of rugby Mark McCall intends giving his inspirational club captain until the last minute to prove his fitness.

“To be fair to Brad we want to give him until the end of the week. With a hamstring injury he obviously can’t train,” McCall said. “He’ll be tested on Thursday to see where he is at and he could be ruled out then, but we might have to wait until we warm up on Saturday to see how it is. He does have a chance.

“We’ll see, but we won’t do something foolish that means Brad has to go off after one minute. That’s not the situation we want to be in. But given who he is and the efforts he’s made this year, it’s fair to give him a few more days. It would be a lift to have him available.”

Barritt is among the toughest players in the Premiership and has a long history of overcoming injury to take part in big games.

The former England centre last season played against Leinster just days after having a titanium plate inserted into his left cheekbone, while last month he overcame a substantial ankle problem to lead the charge against Munster in the European semi-finals.

“Brad does have this habit of coming back from operations – on his eye socket normally – before these kinds of games,” McCall said. “A hamstring’s a bit different because even the bravest people can’t do anything about that.

“If it’s a grade one it’s normally seven-to-10 days. That’s always pushing it. His is probably a 1.2 rather than a one, so we’ll see.”

If the reigning Premiership champions topple Exeter, they will add the league title to the European crown secured against Leinster earlier in the month.

– Press Association

WATCH: The sixth and final part of The Academy, the RugbyPass documentary series on Leicester Tigers 

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Mark McCall issues update on Brad Barritt's fitness for Premiership final