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Saracens prepare for derby day trip to Harlequins with Wray expecting difficult test

PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 December 2017

Jackson Wray (right) and Saracens colleague Chris Wyles (left) tackle Sam Hill of Exeter Chiefs (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

Jackson Wray (right) and Saracens colleague Chris Wyles (left) tackle Sam Hill of Exeter Chiefs (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Cross-city rivals to meet at Stoop on Sunday

A London derby awaits Saracens in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday when they make the trip to capital rivals Harlequins.

Mark McCall’s men will be keen to return to winning ways after a narrow 20-18 league defeat at home to Exeter Chiefs last weekend made it four successive losses in all competitions.

Despite their poor form, Sarries remain second in the league table, though could drop as low as fifth should results go against them this weekend.

The north Londoners will hope to get back on track away to their cross-city rivals this weekend, but forward Jackson Wray knows it will be tough against Quins.

“It’s tough at the Stoop and they’re always fired up when they play us, so we’re going to have to be on our game,” the 27-year-old told the club website.

“It’s a big opportunity to put some things right against them as we haven’t always played well at the Stoop.

“It’s a big challenge for us, but the boys will get stuck into that game, have a look at it and build on it in the week.”

Saracens head to Harlequins off the back of a frustrating defeat at home to Exeter in a game where the north Londoners let a comfortable position slip.

Leading 15-6 at the break, Sarries only added a penalty after the interval as Chiefs stormed back to hand McCall’s men a result which irked Wray.

“It’s massively disappointing. We did so many good things without the ball, we had to defend a lot and for the most part we were very good,” he added.

“Lapses in concentration let Exeter get into the areas where they’re good and we didn’t quite execute what we needed to do in our own 22.

“When you play a team like Exeter who are very good in that area, you have to be so much better than we were when they scored that try.

“We worked so hard to keep them out, which is why I’m very disappointed to lose. It was there for us.

“There are a lot of good things to take from it, which I’m sure we will, but the lesson for us is when teams get in that area, we have to be sharper than we were.”

Sarries have been without many of their internationals over the past few weeks, though they could return for the trip to Quins.

Being able to call on the likes of World Rugby Player of the Year nominees Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje would certainly be a boost.

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