Bath will have it all to do to secure Gallagher Premiership semi-final qualification on Sunday as Saracens have emphasised how they want to leave the English top-flight with a bang. The London club were automatically relegated from the Premiership last January, but there has been no evidence that they have been just going through the motions since the 2019/20 campaign restarted in August.
Although beaten at Worcester on Wednesday night with a youthful side, Saracens have been competitive in recent months, winning four of their eight Premiership outings and coming within a piece of Finn Russell magic of qualifying for their fourth Champions Cup final in five seasons.
Sunday’s fixture against Bath will be their last in the Premiership until 2021/22 at the earliest as they face a year in the Championship as punishment for repeated breaches of the salary cap.
However, they intend to farewell the Premiership with a show of force, something that would be very damaging to Bath’s play-off hopes as they are locked in a four-way tie to fill the remaining three positions below the already qualified Exeter.
Wasps are on 66 points, Bath have 65 with Sale and Bristol each on 64 going into the final round of fixtures where Bath travel to Saracens, Wasps host Exeter, Sale entertain Worcester and Bristol go to London Irish.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) October 1, 2020
Speaking in the wake of the 40-27 loss a Sixways, Saracens boss Mark McCall insisted his club had a very bright future ahead. “We had a very young side with five debutants and although we gave away a couple of soft tries, we bounced back and showed great resilience and I’m chuffed that we got a deserved bonus point.
“Last year Manu Vunipola made his debut on this ground and look what he has achieved in this 12 month period and I’m really excited about this particular group as they could develop in the same way.
“We would like to go out with a bang on Sunday. It will be Brad Barritt’s last game and I don’t know whether he will be available yet as he’s going through the protocols but I really hope he makes it. We won’t lack motivation as it is Richard Wigglesworth’s 250th appearance and 100 for Michael Rhodes.”
Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons paid tribute to Saracens. “They are a fantastic club and their youth players played tremendously. It’s tough playing without crowds but it was a positive end to the home season by collecting a bonus-point win.
Worcester now face a daunting away trip to Sale on Sunday in their final fixture but if they win and other results go their way they could snatch eighth position in the Premiership table and with it a place in the European Champions Cup for next season.
End of an era… well played Brad Barritt ?https://t.co/2y2JSeqnn9
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 26, 2020
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