Search

Rugby World Cup: Saracens put Club England first

11:00 18 September 2015

England

England's Sam Burgess (left) and Brad Barritt during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

We’re one big group now says Barritt

England's Owen Farrell kicks a penalty during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Paul Harding/PA)England's Owen Farrell kicks a penalty during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens boast more than a quarter of the players in the England squad for the 2015 World Cup, but Brad Barritt says it’s definitely a case of putting country before club over the next six weeks.

Barritt returned to an England shirt for the first time in almost a year for their last warm-up match against Ireland, as Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Billy and Mako Vunipola and Richard Wigglesworth all came off the bench in the 21-13 victory.

George Kruis and Alex Goode were not in the 23-man matchday squad on that occasion, but are in England’s 31-man group as they chase the Webb Ellis Cup.

Barritt said: “We’re obviously very proud as a club to have eight players involved, it’s a testament to the hard work and dedication at Saracens and all our staff and coaching staff have done so much hard work to get us in this position.

England's Richard Wigglesworth has a try disallowed during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Paul Harding/PA)England's Richard Wigglesworth has a try disallowed during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

“You’ve got young guys like Jamie, Mako and Billy, who are relishing the opportunity and they’re growing with each outing in an England shirt.

“But we’ve been together now for 11-12 weeks and any club ties are dissipated. We’re essentially a group of 31 now and we’ve worked hard at trying to bring it tighter and together.

“There’s a great camaraderie between all the players and we’re very much of the frame of mind that it’s all about England now and we’ll put the club feelings on hold.”

Durban-born Barritt, 29, had not played for England since the November 2014 meeting with Australia due to a knee injury, but his excellent defensive skills and distribution were on show and he combined well with Jonathan Joseph in the centres.

England's Billy Vunipola and Ireland's Paul O'Connell during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Paul Harding/PA)England's Billy Vunipola and Ireland's Paul O'Connell during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

It was the first time they had started together and the 13th pairing tried by coach Stuart Lancaster, with some believing it may be his first choice now.

Barritt added: “It’s not for me to say. It’s about the here and now with England. In terms of how we can get the best out of our team it definitely was a well-balanced back line.

“It’s fantastic to be back in an England shirt. Every opportunity to play for England is very special. I relished the opportunity to be back and to play against a quality Irish team was a great way to step back into the fold.

“It’s a combination that worked really well. As a first starting pair I think it came very naturally.

“JJ and I have been together in England squads for three or four years, but because we haven’t started together maybe a lot has been said. But we’ve trained together, been in the matchday 23 together for some time,

“It can be seamless when you go out on the pitch, so in terms of what we put out there I think it’s a very pleasing performance.”

Barritt made way for Sam Burgess for the last 20 minutes, with the former rugby league winning just his second cap since switching codes.

The inclusion of 26-year-old Burgess by Lancaster has been one of the biggest talking points throughout the build-up to the tournament, but Barritt backs him, adding: “Sam’s been a great addition to the squad, he’s a fantastic guy and we have a great working relationship.

“He’s got a fair grasp on it and we’re very lucky to have two guys in our back line team in Mike Catt and Andy Farrell, who have been in similar boats.”

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

09:14
Sean Cronin leaps to win a header during Monday's victory over Maidenhead. Pic: Martin Addison

Sean Cronin is hoping his experience at the back can enable Wingate & Finchley to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs this season.

07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Tue, 18:52
Spurs Ladies forward Bianca Baptiste (right). Pic: Clive Jones

Spurs Ladies won a cup double last season and forward Bianca Baptiste would love to go one better and secure a treble this term – but she believes the focus should be on the league and a top-three finish.

Tue, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Tue, 15:14
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has shown his willingness to put his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters on plenty of occasions, and they will usually thank him for it.

Tue, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Mon, 17:06
Joel Hughes has taken 100 wickets for North Middlesex in the Premier Division. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex secured their fourth straight Premier Division victory after beating second-placed Teddington by two runs – and captain Tom Nicoll believes the strength of his side’s bowling attack means they have a shot at the title.

Mon, 15:24
Brondesbury captain Adam Wilson (centre), pictured against Hornsey. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury slipped out of the promotion spots after a four-wicket defeat at Harrow St Mary’s – and Hornsey were unable to capitalise as they drew with Indian Gymkhana.

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

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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