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Goode looking forward

Saracens full-back Alex Goode believes last year's disappointment is behind his team and they are ready to rekindle the kind of form which saw them finish top of the Aviva Premiership before their poor showing in the play-offs.

Sarries finished three points clear of Leicester to end the regular season at the top of the table, but went on to lose 27-13 at home to eventual runners-up Northampton in their play-off semi-final.

It proved to be the second successive year in which the club fell one game short of reaching the final, having won the title in 2011.

Goode, who was part of that squad, reckons everyone has moved on from last year and is also expecting a tight season this time round.

"We have drawn a line under it now and that has happened, Northampton were better on the day but we move on and keep the earlier momentum going in to the new season," he told Press Association Sport.

"The beauty of the Premiership is that it is one of the best competitions in the world in the respect of how tight it will be.

"Last season we finished top of the table but then we lost to the teams who came ninth and 10th - it is just the way it is. Any team on their day, particularly at home, can cause an upset.

"It makes it very special and it also makes it very tough. You can't let your guard down so it is a great competition and I'm very happy to be a part of it."

The 25-year-old Goode has been recovering from a shoulder injury that ruled him out of England's tour of Argentina earlier in the summer.

But he looks set to be ready for Saracens' curtain-raiser away at London Irish this weekend and knows he needs to hit the ground running on a personal level to keep his international aspirations intact.

"When you are part of England you expect there to be people behind you pushing you and that is the same in every position," Goode added.

"I didn't go on the tour to Argentina and the people who went out there played really well and put their hands up.

"So it will all depend on who is playing best at the beginning of the year. It is about me playing well for Saracens week in, week out and putting in big performances.

"If I'm doing that then hopefully I will be going the right way to play for England."


From Belfast Telegraph