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'Max Malins reaping benefit of top-tier rugby last term' - Mark McCall

By PA

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall feels the free-scoring Max Malins is reaping the benefit of remaining in the top flight last season, following his four-try haul in Sunday’s 56-15 thumping of Wasps.

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Malins thrived during his loan spell with Bristol while Sarries were forced to fight their way out of the Championship in the wake of their enforced relegation for salary-cap breaches last year.

The 24-year-old backed up his hat-trick against Bath last week with another electric showing at the StoneX Stadium and England will have a player in the form of his life when he reports for international duty next week.

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McCall said: “He wouldn’t have benefitted from playing in the Championship last year.

“Those players who were 23, 24 (years old), we knew we couldn’t afford to stop their development by playing in the Championship for a year and he was one of those.

“You can see with him, Ben (Earl), Nick Tompkins and Alex (Lozowski) as well, they’re all playing really well at the moment.

“It will be interesting to see where he plays for England – he’s played four games for us; two at full-back and two on the left wing, which is the rotation we wanted to do.

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“I think he prefers playing at no.15, if I’m honest, but we’ll wait and see – he’s doing pretty good on the left wing.”

On his team’s performance, McCall said: “It wasn’t error-free, there were mistakes along the way, but the pleasing thing was how we dealt with them; we just moved on to the next thing.”

Saracens eased into a 27-3 half-time lead, thanks to tries by Jamie George, Malins and Billy Vunipola.

Malins crossed the try line three more times in the second half, with Lozowski and Earl adding to Sarries’ tally and Jimmy Gopperth and Zach Kibirige striking for depleted Wasps.

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Wasps head coach Lee Blackett said: “I thought, at times, we showed a little bit of fight.

“I thought we were too sloppy with the ball, really, and I thought in the set-piece we had an off-day, and we never put back-to-back efforts in with the ball, we never put any pressure on.

“I think we’ll walk away disappointed, although we had six guys out there making their debuts, so we get to see more people in a Wasps jersey.

“Hopefully, especially a few of the younger guys, they will get more time on the pitch and more time playing at this level, but I don’t think you can take too many positives away from a defeat like that.

“We turned over the ball a fair few times then gave it back immediately, so there was some good grit in our defence, but then we were just sloppy straight away.”

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'Max Malins reaping benefit of top-tier rugby last term' - Mark McCall

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