Belfast Telegraph

Every point will be crucial: McCall

By Andrew Baldock

Saracens chief Mark McCall says that every point will be crucial in the battle to top Pool One.

The former Ulster player and coach leads his men against French heavyweights Toulouse at Allianz Park today knowing that with only the group winners guaranteed a quarter-final spot, whatever they can pick up along the way is a bonus.

Rugby director McCall said: "The lesson that all the teams have learned, really, is that you have to pick up every point you can when it is available.

"Last season, we qualified for the quarter-finals as the eighth-placed team, but we got that by virtue of a losing bonus point that we got away from home, and you have just got to fight for every point in the competition.

"Toulouse are a great European team with a great pedigree, but they are also playing very well this season.

"They have won six games out of seven in the Top 14 already this season, and they beat Montpellier in Montpellier, so that shows you they can win away from home as well."

For Toulouse, Saturday's game will be their first European fixture without new France coach Guy Noves at the helm, but they appear as powerful as ever, with Les Bleus skipper Thierry Dusautoir leading a team that also includes world- class players such as Maxime Medard, Gael Fickou and Louis Picamoles.

"It has been an easy transition," full-back Medard said.

"We have a lot of the same players as last season, and we have not changed the Toulouse game-plan."

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