Search

January is a key month for Saracens, says Du Plessis

12:54 31 December 2015

Saracens' Petrus du Plessis. Pic: Matthew Impey/Wiredphotos.co.uk

Saracens' Petrus du Plessis. Pic: Matthew Impey/Wiredphotos.co.uk

2015 Matthew Impey

Saracens forward Petrus du Plessis believes January will be a key month in the Premiership and in Europe – starting with Saturday’s showdown against Leicester at Allianz Park.

Sarries begin 2016 with a home game against the Tigers, who sit third in the top flight with only one defeat, and they then visit fourth-placed Harlequins before facing Ulster and Toulouse in back-to-back Champions Cup pool matches.

The reigning champions finish the month with a home game against Bath, who were their opponents in May’s Premiership final. And, although they top the league and have won each their 11 matches in all competitions so far this season, Du Plessis is not getting away.

“January is a big month for us,” he said. “This is a really tough time for us, playing some of the top-half teams in the Premiership and going back to face Ulster and Toulouse, so this is a part of the season where we’ve really got to focus.

“We’ve got some exceptional players and if we carry on doing what we’re doing we’ll have the results we want.

“[Our success] has just been about working really hard for each other. We’re a tight-knit group, it’s like a family, and you work so much harder for each other because we’re good friends.

“We’ve got the utmost respect for Leicester. We’ve always been rivals since 2009 and I think they’re a physical side and they’re playing really well at the minute.

“I think it’s going to be a really big contest on Saturday, up front and in all aspects of the game. It should be a really good spectators’ game so I would say people out there should come and have a look and watch a good game of rugby.”

Asked if he has any new year’s resolutions, Du Plessis said: “No, I probably just have to work off the Christmas dinner!

“We haven’t set any goals as such for the team for the new year. We’ll obviously work around some slight changes, with [forwards and defence coach] Paul Gustard moving to England, but nothing will change within the structure and the way we do things, and that should be a good challenge for us for the next half of the year.”

Meanwhile, Saracens have brought in two new faces, with England Under-20 head coach Ian Peel joining the staff and Scotland international forward Kieran Low arriving on loan from Glasgow Warriors for the rest of the season.

Peel, who has previously worked with Saracens’ Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje and George Kruis in the England youth ranks, will also assist the England senior team as their scrum coach for the 2016 Six Nations tournament.

Low moved from London Irish to Pro12 champions Glasgow in the summer but has only played three times and has moved back south.

Saracens’ director of rugby, Mark McCall, said: “With a few injuries and the expectancy that we will lose a few second-row forwards during the Six Nations, we are very happy to be able to bring Kieran into the group.”

0 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 Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

A visibly delighted Arsene Wenger praised hattrick hero Alexis Sanchez or his ‘killer instinct’ after his treble routed West Ham United 5-1 at their new home the London Stadium.

Arsenal sent a message to the rest of the Premier League after an impressive display of power and glory at the West Ham United’s London Stadium this evening by winning 5-1.

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen both scored twice while Heung-Min Son was also on target as Tottenham strolled to a 5-0 home win against Swansea at White Hart Lane. Here are five talking points.

Fri, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says he has used a much-needed week off to focus on “the bigger picture” with his players and to stress the importance of being mentally ready to play at full intensity every three days.

Fri, 12:00

Mauricio Pochettino says it has been difficult for Moussa Sissoko to get into a rhythm at Tottenham and show his best form after three months of interruptions.

Fri, 09:15

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham were a little hasty in selling Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea, conceding that the Iceland international would have been a “perfect player” for his squad.

Thu, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane’s latest contract extension shows the striker is motivated by a love of Tottenham rather than money.

Thu, 14:15

Mauricio Pochettino admits he is concerned about Erik Lamela’s hip injury, which is not improving as quickly as expected, while centre-back Toby Alderweireld is still not certain to return against Swansea on Saturday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now