Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Strettle impressed by Toulon

David Strettle says the Toulon players have 'got the right mindset'

Saracens wing David Strettle insists Jonny Wilkinson-inspired Toulon are far more than a dream team of expensively-assembled talent.

Twickenham hosts the second Heineken Cup semi-final on Sunday when Saracens will be hoping to become the first English club to defeat their big-spending rivals from France in the tournament.

The riches of president Mourad Boudjellal have bankrolled Toulon's recruitment but Strettle insists their success owes just as much to the philosophy adopted by the players, saying: "They've managed to gel a group of very talented players with a team mentality. It's not just a dream team of guys playing for themselves, they're playing for the club and supporters."

He added: "I'm led to believe it's a very down-to-earth club that has adopted the same principles as us.

"That's why they're doing so well - they're got the right mindset, have such talented players and have adopted the right work ethic.

"Jonny is just one of a myriad of star players they have. He's so devoted and that rubs off on people.

"When others see someone put so much effort in, they feel guilty if they're not doing the same.

"When I first started playing for England he was still playing. He was the guy who took professional rugby to the next level with his work ethic and commitment.

"If you spoke to a lot of the lads who have been involved with England, they can see the legacy he has left. The work ethic is ingrained into the squad."

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