Search

Hargreaves hopes Borthwick can captain Saracens in Heineken Cup final

09:00 22 May 2014

Saracens

Saracens' Alistair Hargreaves. Pic: David Rogers/Getty Images

2013 Getty Images

Alistair Hargreaves says Saturday’s Heineken Cup final is the biggest match of his career – but he hopes Saracens captain Steve Borthwick will overcome injury to take his place in the starting line-up.

Sarries will contest their first ever European Cup final when they face Jonny Wilkinson’s Toulon – the current holders – in Cardiff this weekend.

A pectoral injury could deny skipper Borthwick the chance to finish his decorated 16-year career with back-to-back Heineken Cup and Aviva Premiership finals, as Saracens chase a magnificent double ahead of his retirement this summer.

The former England captain must train today (Thursday) to prove his fitness, otherwise four-cap Springboks second row Hargreaves will take his place.

Hargreaves said: “Saturday’s game probably is the biggest of my career, but I’ll prepare the same as always to make sure I’m ready.

“You try not to let the occasion overwhelm you, so our preparation is pretty consistent. Mentally that helps me not to build it up too much in my head.

“Hopefully Steve will recover in time, we all want him to be able to finish in style.

“We all owe a duty to Steve, he’s such a massive part of this club and the revolution of this club. In the back of our minds we’d like to send him off on the right note.”

On the other side of the fence, Toulon talisman Wilkinson will also be aiming to go out on a high by lifting the Heineken Cup again after the England legend announced that he too is calling time on his 17-year career.

Saracens’ Matt Stevens played with the World Cup-winning fly-half in England colours, and he said: “Jonny’s been a force of nature in the Premiership, in international rugby, the top 14 – he’s done it all, the guy’s a legend.

“I don’t think we can nullify what he does but it’s definitely something we take into account when we prepare.

“He sets an incredible example. I remember I played for England with him, he was someone you looked up to and you tried to strive for perfection.

“I don’t think I ever got anywhere near it but I strived for the perfection that he went for, and I think when you see someone like that in the squad, it ultimately raises your game.

“I know we have that at Saracens. Everyone is pushing each other and that’s the nature of a good team where you have good competition for places which we have throughout the squad.

“If everyone is pushing each other and no-one is sure of their place in the team, it just makes for a better team.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

The first of the three pitch invaders takes a 'selfie' with Kyle Naughton. Pic: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Harry Kane admits he was amused by the first of the three pitch invaders during night’s Europa League match but hopes such interruptions can be kicked out of the game.

Yesterday, 07:25
Jordan Nobbs of Arsenal Ladies scores against Everton. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Jordan Nobbs is relishing the opportunity to link up with new signing Lianne Sanderson when Arsenal head to Japan for the International Women’s Club Championship.

Tottenham's Roberto Soldado (right) tries to grab the second of the three pitch invaders at White Hart Lane. Pic: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Tottenham’s 1-0 Europa League victory over Partizan Belgrade at White Hart Lane was halted for 10 minutes due to three first-half pitch invasions tonight.

Thu, 07:30
Saracens' Jamie George (left) is tackled by Northampton's Stephen Myler

Hooker Jamie George is looking to put the disappointment of the weekend’s defeat to Northampton Saints behind him as Saracens prepare for Saturday’s trip to Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership.

Most read sport

The comedian returned to his home town for the prestigious award ceremony.

The helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub.

Twitter sat back and watched as the world went bargain-hunting crazy on Black Friday.

There was definitely something buzzing at JCB when he delivered his immigration speech.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition