Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Barritt targets Saracens progress

Brad Barritt (centre)

Brad Barritt is determined to pay a debt of thanks to Saracens for his England call-up by inspiring a "huge performance" in Sunday's Heineken Cup clash with Biarritz.

Barritt was one of six Saracens players to be named in England's 32-man elite squad, while full-back Alex Goode has also been drafted in to provide injury cover.

"As delighted and proud as I was (to get the England call this week), I still realise there is a huge job to do at Saracens," said Barritt. "Saracens is the place that got us there and we owe it to them to put in a huge performance against Biarritz."

He added: "Over the last few years Sarries haven't had much of a look-in, so it just shows how far we've come as a team. The success over the last few years has really put Sarries in the shop window and it's a great moment for the club."

Barritt moved from South Africa in August 2008 and Saracens technical director Brendan Venter has been a long-time supporter of his England credentials.

Barritt has made one senior England appearance, in a non-cap international against the New Zealand Maori in 2010, but never really had a look-in under former national team manager Martin Johnson.

"Bradley Barritt is pound-for-pound the best rugby player in our team," Venter told EWN Sport in South Africa during Saracens' training week in Cape Town.

"He brings everything that Saracens is about - physicality, intensity, good hands and good vision. He's a lovely rugby player."