Thursday, 11 September 2014

David Strettle predicts little change to Stuart Lancaster"s World Cup plans

These statistics he claims as evidence in his favour, never mind his age, and intends to show so tonight at his former rugby home just as he did over the road last weekend.

“At Saracens we have certainly expanded our game and in its way that’s assisted me to get more headlines,” he said.

“But the way we used to play also highlighted areas that, when I was at Quins, I didn’t really understand, to do with kick-defence, kick-chase, putting on pressure. They are not what people necessarily notice but they are vital to the team and have improved me as a player.

“People often say it’s an easy game made difficult but often it really is quite complex and you have to know exactly when to play rugby in an attacking sense or else do the sensible thing by clearing your lines. Refereeing decisions can sometimes make it a disadvantage to have the ball.

“We pride ourselves at Saracens that every game is massively important. So there would be no point in taking points against Quins if they were then thrown away against someone else. But even if Quins were an average team, going back there would always mean the world to me.”

Proof of the efficacy of Saracens’ rugby, expanded but still pragmatic according to Strettle, has been finishing first in the past two Premiership seasons. Quins are not an “average team” but genuine contenders, and both eked out first-up victories six days ago, Quins against London Irish.

“Since I have been at Saracens, every year we have built on what we had done the season before, collectively taking these steps forward, with wins increased, losses down, defence better, a Heineken Cup final, Premiership finals,” said Strettle.

“But it’s not just us getting better. Look at Northampton, Leicester, Quins – they rarely take a backward step. So though we’ve succeeded so far, the better you get each year, the harder it always is to keep replicating it.”

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David Strettle predicts little change to Stuart Lancaster"s World Cup plans

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