October 23 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 13°C

Five-day forecast

Hargreaves hopes Borthwick can captain Saracens in Heineken Cup final

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014
9:00 AM

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.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

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.”

Share this article

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 and 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 and 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.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead and 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

Local Search 24
Looking for a:
Location:
Search radius:
Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ham&High on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hampstead businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ham&High, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE