Saracens back Alex Lozowski has warned rival clubs they will be back on the trophy trail again soon despite the salary cap breach currently dominating the headlines.
The Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup holders face a 35-point deduction in addition to a fine of more than £5million if any appeal against a penalty for breaching the salary cap is not successful.
It would catapult the Allianz Park club into a relegation battle and they may have to prioritise league fixtures over more European success.
England international Lozowski said: “As a player you want to be competing at the top end of competitions.
“With what has happened and the punishment that has been handed down, it looks like it might be difficult this season, but I think Saracens will win championships again.
“Maybe not this season, but we will win championships again and I want to be part of that and we all want to be a part of that.
“The people at the club are too good and care too much and work too hard every day for this to affect us going forward in the long run.
“Whatever happens this season will happen, but as I’ve said, looking to the future I think there is lots to be positive about.”
Lozowski was speaking to the media ahead of Sunday’s Champions Cup opener with Racing 92 in Pool Four.
Maybe not this season, but we will win championships again and I want to be part of that and we all want to be a part of thatAlex Lozowski
Reporters were told not to ask questions about the salary cap breach, with Saracens bringing in a representative from a communications company to help them deal with the fallout from the scandal.
The 26-year-old admitted: “It’s hard not to see it on social media and obviously a lot of people have had a lot to say about it – other teams, coaches and players.
“It is quite amusing to read what they have to say and what they think about it, but in terms of how it makes me feel – it doesn’t really bother me all that much.”
Saracens’ versatile back insisted they were proud of their achievements in Europe last term and were not prepared to “lie down and give it away” while he also revealed the squad have not discussed potential punishments.
“We are professional rugby players, who come to training every day and there has been no talk about penalties or points deductions at this stage,” Lozowski said.
“We have an amazing challenge at the weekend against a phenomenal team and the second we start worrying about other things, it could be a long afternoon on Sunday.
“We know what we’ve got to do in terms of our preparation to get ready for a big game.”
He added: “Ever since I have been here, we have been pretty much universally disliked, so it’s not really new to us and that is what happens to you when you have success and win championships.
“I guess what has happened, has made that a bit worse, but we are used to being disliked.”