December 10 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Thursday, September 26, 2013
David Strettle admits that double bragging rights will be on the line at Harlequins as Saracens attempt to silence their London rivals and maintain their 100 per cent start to the Aviva Premiership season.
The in-form winger spent four fruitful years at the Twickenham club – being named Professional Rugby Player’s Association Young Player of the Season in 2007 - before making the switch north of capital three years later.
Strettle’s former colleagues went on to win the Premiership in 2012 but his current team have put a strong marker down to suggest this could be their year.
Strettle scored his second successive brace on Sunday as Sarries romped past previously unbeaten Bath 31-17, rattling in all four of their tries before half time to claim a third bonus point victory in a row.
It’s a real statement of intent from a side that was tipped to win the title last season but fell short with a shock home play-off semi-final defeat to Northampton.
Strettle too has set the standard and currently sits on the top of the league’s try-scoring charts with four – but a fifth on his old stomping ground would be something to savour.
“It’s massive,” the 30-year old said about returning to his former home. “I never left under a dark cloud or anything and I’ve never been back to a club where I haven’t had friends there.
“Whenever I’ve played against Quins I’ve wanted to win because you don’t want your mates to have bragging rights over you.
“You’ve got to treat it as just another game of rugby as well. You go out there and treat every game with equal importance but I’m not going to lie, when you go back and play against your old team-mates you get that little bit more adrenalin.
“You’ve played there and you’ve got the fans who chanted for you when you were there, so you want to play well against them.”
Quins were equally as devastating in their last outing, as they scored four at Worcester on Friday night to temporarily overtake Saracens at the top of the table.
However, the Stoo is one of the iconic arenas in English rugby union and one that Saracens are bound to experience a tougher task than the one presented by an under-strength Bath in the first half.
Strettle said: “I played at The Stoop for four years. It’s a great place to play rugby and we know it’s going to be very tough.
“They’ve been contenders in the top four for the last couple of seasons now and obviously won it so they are a team that can punish you.
“They’ve got some phenomenal players.
“It’s going to be another tough one and hopefully we can pull out a performance like we did in the first half [against Bath] because that’s what beating Quins warrants.
“We’ve got to turn up on the day because they are very good team.”