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Saracens coach Mark McCall blasts Ulster Rugby's signing of Charles Piatau

Clermont Auv 13 - Saracens 9

By Hugh Godwin

Mark McCall has slammed Ulster for upping the market rate with their recent signing of All Blacks winger Charles Piatau.

The former Ulster coach wants to improve his Saracens side after they again failed to reach the final of the European Champions Cup, but said he would not be signing a high-profile marquee player whose wages are exempt from the salary cap.

"I'm a great believer that people should get what they deserve, even within our own group. But it's getting more difficult when some clubs splash big on someone who probably doesn't deserve that kind of salary," said McCall, Saracens director of rugby.

"We know where we'd like to improve and we're prepared to wait for the right person. We don't just want to get 'a name' because he's available post-World Cup. It's got to be someone with the right kind of ambition and hunger."

Saracens England No 8 Billy Vunipola manfully tried to take the blame for his club's latest painful loss but the implications of Saturday's semi-final defeat by Clermont Auvergne in a cacophonous Stade Geoffroy Guichard were wide-ranging.

"I let my team down by putting them under pressure," said Vunipola, thinking of incidents such as his decision to handle not kick that led to Brock James's concluding penalty goal a few minutes from full time.

There were also occasions when Vunipola's breakdown work was brilliant against a quality Clermont team backed by fanatical support and who deservedly reached their their second final, with a promise to bring 20,000 supporters for the all-French meeting with Toulon at Twickenham on May 2.

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