Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Goode: Saracens won't rest on laurels

Alex Goode does not want Saracens to take their eye off the ball

England full-back Alex Goode has no doubt that Saracens are fully geared up for the season's business end.

The Aviva Premiership leaders host reigning league champions Harlequins on Sunday after opening up a four-point gap on the title holders. Saracens also have a Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster at Twickenham on their agenda early next month, so there will be little respite for Goode and his international colleagues.

"We are reaching the business end of the season now and we are well aware that every team can beat each other on the day in the Premiership, so we certainly won't be resting on our laurels," he said.

"We have aimed to be peaking towards the end of the season, so these last six or seven games we are planning to be playing well and, most importantly, winning well.

"So the message is clear for us at this time of the season. We have to go out at the weekend and play well and aim to maintain that until the season's end."

Saracens have wasted no time restoring their international players to the starting line-up for the showdown with Quins just a week after England suffered a record 30-3 defeat in the RBS 6 Nations title decider against Wales.

Goode, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola all start at Allianz Park, together with Scotland skipper Kelly Brown.

England captain Chris Robshaw, meanwhile, makes an immediate comeback to club duties with Harlequins after leading his country against Wales seven days ago. Robshaw's Test team colleagues Danny Care and Joe Marler also start the top-of-the-table clash for Quins.

"I think it's easy for us to make the transition from international rugby to club rugby," Goode added. "Obviously, last weekend's result was quite painful to take, so it is good to get back to your club and the chance to play in a big game like Harlequins at home.

"It's great to be back with club. Saracens are the club who have helped me and others get England recognition, so it's very important that I get back and help as much as I can with the team's big push towards the end of the season."

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