McCall ready for tricky period

October 12, 2016
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Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall believes that their biggest test will come during the autumn internationals and Six Nations.

Having enjoyed success over the last few years and developed top English talent in the process, the London-based outfit have seen their players gain Test recognition.

That leaves their squad weakened during those periods and, despite another excellent start to the season, McCall concedes that it could be a difficult task to handle.

"Sometimes the challenge for us is how we function during the international windows," he said.

"We've got a number of players who we expect to be in that 23-man England squad during the autumn internationals and during the Six Nations.

"The challenges will be there all the way through the season. The Premiership is pretty strong this year and the teams are very strong, but it's a competition we enjoy."

Following five victories in six domestic games, Sarries begin the defence of their European Champions Cup title this weekend against Toulon and McCall is happy with the position the club are in.

He added: "Seven or eight years ago, Saracens used to have this revolving door where people came and went. One of the goals was to keep people, staff and players for a period of time and that's beginning to happen.

"We're happy with the age profile of the squad and as people retire one decision is whether to replace them with more experience, like we did with Schalk Burger, or bring someone a bit younger who's got some growth and some potential like Alex Lozowski."

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