Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Farrell: Sarries relish showpiece games

Owen Farrell expects Saracens to feed off the Twickenham crowd

England star Owen Farrell readily admits that Saracens love "a big occasion".

He believes they will embrace Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Ulster at Twickenham, where victory would set up a Twickenham last-four appointment with Toulon or Leicester later this month.

"I am sure Twickenham will be rocking," Saracens fly-half Farrell said.

"We like playing in big stadiums and in these occasions - we have proven that in the past. As much as we pride ourselves on turning up week in and week out, we do like a big occasion and playing in a stadium like Twickenham and in front of a big crowd. I have not yet seen a game when the team has not been up for it.

"There have been some brilliant occasions over the last couple of years, but we talk about the next game being the biggest game. You don't look back on it and you don't look ahead, and the next game really is a big game - Ulster at Twickenham."

French rivals Clermont Auvergne and Montpellier meet in the opening quarter-final, while Harlequins host Munster on Sunday, when Leicester tackle Toulon at Stade Felix Mayol.

Wasps boss David Young, meanwhile, has underlined a need for watertight discipline in their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final showdown with Leinster. Young's team go into the Adams Park clash following a run of four successive Premiership defeats.

"We've been on the back foot defending quite a lot in our last few games, and when you are doing that for large parts of a game you end up conceding penalties," he said. "In a one-off cup game you need to keep everyone on the field, and how we carry ourselves in our discipline could be the difference between winning and losing."

Leinster, Heineken Cup winners last season, failed to progress from their group this time around and were one of three pool runners-up handed Challenge Cup last-eight spots, being joined by Biarritz and Toulouse.

French rivals Perpignan and Toulouse are also in action on Friday night, meeting at Stade Aime Giral, with the winners facing a semi-final later this month against Bath or Stade Francais, who tackle each other at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

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