Belfast Telegraph

Bangor man McCall wants the Sarries to home in on glory

By Jonathan Bradley

Former Ulster coach and captain Mark McCall wants to see Saracens secure an all-important home quarter-final when they take on Toulon at Allianz Park this afternoon (3.15pm kick-off).

Last season's champions take on the big spenders from the Cote D'Azur in a repeat of the 2014 final, a game Toulon won comfortably.

The three-time champions are not the team of old, however, and could fail to make the quarter-finals if they don't pull out a result in north London.

With McCall's Sarries already qualified, but still out to confirm their place among the top four seeds, the visitors can still expect a fully motivated effort from the Aviva Premiership outfit.

"It is a massive match," said the Bangor man.

"It's good that we have qualified, but we want to secure a home quarter-final if possible.

"They (Toulon) have got all their squad back together now.

"Matt Giteau came back last weekend and looked good for the 30 minutes he played, (Josua) Tuisova was devastating for the 20 minutes he was on the pitch, Juan Smith was back for them, so they will come to us thinking they will have a big chance.

"I know that every player they have is unbelievably competitive, and when they've been asked to step up down the years - when they really need it - they are very tough to play against.

"It's a huge game at home, and a win gets us what we want.

"We've got to be very smart with how we play the game."

In the other game in Ulster's group, Exeter travel to Clermont with their coach Rob Baxter telling his side that, given how many other results have to go their way, they can't be distracted by the possibility of a miracle escape from Pool Five.

"Getting tied up with points and where we will come will probably only confuse us and cloud exactly how we want to play and what we want to get right," he said. "We certainly won't get carried away too much with points and what it will take to qualify.

"The reality is that it is about turning up like we did last weekend against Ulster and putting in levels of performance that deserve to win the game."

Belfast Telegraph


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