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Stevens loving life with Saracens

Matt Stevens is relishing the buzz of resurrecting his career with title-chasing Saracens.

The 28-year-old prop has only recently returned to the game after serving a two-year ban following a positive drugs test for cocaine in December 2008, most recently starring in a close 15-14 victory over Leicester in only the sixth game of his comeback.

"I have been in teams before where I have not had this buzz," he said. "I am feeling confident about things, it was a massive challenge for us against the Leicester pack, we worked very hard on live scrummaging in the build-up to the game and we went in very confident."

He added: "It was great to get that bit of luck at the end of the game (Billy Twelvetrees missed a last-gasp penalty for the hosts) and every team needs that, there is a great feeling in the squad and we feel like we are going places."

While Stevens has retained the mobility that made him a force to be reckoned with around the field prior to his ban, he admits the hardest adjustment he has had to make since returning in January has been getting his body used to the demands of scrummaging again.

"That's the most difficult thing," he said.

"You have to condition your body to it and the good thing about Saracens is we have done a lot of live scrummaging.

"On the Tuesday after a big game at the weekend it's the last thing you want, but the coaches have been really good for me and I am getting through the hits.

"I had two or three months of a lot of conditioning but it's about getting into the hits and having a crunch in your neck on a Monday. Hopefully I can get more time, either off the bench or starting, and get better each game."


From Belfast Telegraph