Rugby Union: Saracens head to Ospreys on return to European Champions Cup

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 January 2018

Billy Vunipola in action for Saracens earlier in the season (pic: Mark Kerton/PA)

Billy Vunipola in action for Saracens earlier in the season (pic: Mark Kerton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Two-time defending champions back in European action on Saturday

Alex Goode scored two tries for Saracens against Wasps (pic: Nigel French/PA) Alex Goode scored two tries for Saracens against Wasps (pic: Nigel French/PA)

Saracens return to European Champions Cup action at Ospreys on Saturday, where Billy Vunipola will hope to continue his return from injury.

After missing four months of the season with a knee injury, the England international made his playing return on Sunday in a 38-15 win at Wasps in the Aviva Premiership.

The 25-year-old suffered the injury against Sale Sharks in September, and there were concerns about his future in the game at the time.

Now he has fully recovered though, Vunipola will want to get back to his rampaging best.

But for now, the loose forward is just happy to be able to take part in all aspects of being a rugby player again.

“I just enjoy training with the boys and all the little things that you take for granted, like coming in every day and being with the boys,” he told the club website.

“To get out there and play with them again, warming up and pulling the kit on, is awesome.

“It’s been a long time, so I’m really going to grasp the chance and enjoy it and keep moving forward.”

Vunipola started in the triumph at Wasps and lasted 70 minutes before being replaced by Australian international Will Skelton.

Alex Goode crossed for a brace of tries in the win, with Chris Wyles, Schalk Burger and Ben Spencer also dotting down as Saracens claimed all five points.

However, the Allianz Park club did not have it all their own way, with the hosts scoring 12 points in the final four minutes of the first half.

That saw Sarries’ lead cut from 18-3 to 18-15 heading into the break, but Vunipola was happy with the response after the interval.

“The most important thing is that we got through the purple patch Wasps had at the end of the first half,” he added.

“We regrouped and got back to how we play, eventually coming out on top and scoring a few more tries.”

Vunipola will hope to keep hold of his starting berth this weekend when Saracens head over thje border to face Welsh club Ospreys.

When the sides met earlier in the season, Saracens edged the Pro14 club 36-34 in a thriller at Allianz Park in October.

And a similar result this weekend would be welcomed by Mark McCall’s men in their quest for a place in the quarter-finals.

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