NEXT UP | Premiership Rugby Cup
London is calling once again next week when Harlequins head to the StoneX Stadium for the opening round of the Premiership Cup on Saturday, 13 November (kick-off 2.30pm).
All 13 Gallagher Premiership clubs take part in the competition, which is played during the international windows, and they are split into three pools. Pool A has five teams and Pools B and C have four.
Each team will play every other team in their pool once. In the case of Pools B and C, they will play one extra inter-pool match to ensure five rounds of matches. The top team in each pool, plus the best overall runner-up, will progress to the semi-finals, with the highest ranked teams having home advantage.
The winners of the semi-finals will then meet in the final in May 2022. It will be played on the home ground of the highest ranked remaining team.
The recent 29-22 win over reigning Premiership champions Harlequins at The Twickenham Stoop is bound to add extra spice to the occasion, although once again both teams will be missing key players who will be away on international duty.
It is a chance for the coaches to give a run to younger and less experienced players in what will still be a hugely competitive environment. How could any game against the Quins be any less than that?
“The games are coming thick and fast now and they are all tough games. Of course, we were delighted to get the result at the end against the Quins, but we are now looking forwards and not back,” said Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall.
“We lose more players to international rugby, so this is a good opportunity for the younger lads in the squad. I’m very excited by the young guys coming through and they’ll all get a chance to impress in the next few weeks.
“Some of them were big players for us in the Championship last season, like Andy Christie, Sean Refell and Elliott Obatoyinbo. We’ve got a couple of others who are injured at the moment, like Ralph Adams-Hale.
“These are guys who have also played a fair amount of Premiership rugby in the early part of this season, which has been great. We’ve also got who will play in the Premiership Cup like Manu Vunipola and Ruben de Haas.
“There are lots of players who are just keen to get some game time and we’re looking forward to seeing them play.”
Round 2 will see Saracens head to London Irish on 19 November, with a bye in the third round on 29 December.