Saracens’ Fraser targets England success
Will Fraser has two goals next season – to ensure Saracens don’t end the season empty-handed again and earn an England call-up.
The flanker impressed for Sarries last term but his season unravelled in May as a shoulder injury forced him out of the Heineken Cup semi- final meeting with Toulon and then the Aviva Premiership play-off clash with Northampton Saints.
Saracens lost both matches and, with the injury worse than first feared, the 23-year-old was forced to miss out on England’s tour to South America over the summer.
“I suppose it was a bit of an anti- climax really, we would have liked to at least make the final in either Europe or the Premiership,” he said. “The plan was for both, obviously, and it will be again this year.
“From a personal point of view the timing of the injury wasn’t great. I picked it up the week before the Toulon game and I was desperate to play, but you can’t do anything about it.
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“I had a good season last year and I have a lot of positives I can take from it, and a lot of stuff I can work with as well.
“The injury meant I couldn’t go with England and anybody wants to represent their country, but I’ve had good feedback and at the end of the day it’s all on me, once I get back fit and back playing.
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“It’s nice in a way that it’s all on my own shoulders. I have massive aspirations to play for England again and I’ll do anything I can to fulfil them.
“I won’t ever know if I would have gone to South America at some stage because I got injured beforehand, but I got a text from Graham Rowntree saying to stay in touch, get back fit and see what happens.”
Fraser’s injury means he won’t feature in this season’s J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s series, having helped Saracens to the series final last year – and he is set to miss the first few league matches too.
But, while he won’t be in action for a few weeks yet, the flanker says there are plenty of young stars to look out for when the London clubs meet in the third leg of the competition at Saracens’ Allianz Park home on August 3.
“All the clubs involved are out to win it, to get some silverware before the start of the season,” said Fraser. “It puts us in great shape for the rest of the year, it’s a huge tournament and one that all the clubs are gunning for.
“We have a lot of young guys coming through that hopefully can showcase their talents, and it’s a great tournament and one that we are going to go and try to win.
“You will see a young lad called Nick Tompkins – he’s a special young player a great attitude. He’s not the biggest of players by any means, but he punches well above his weight so he will definitely shine.
“You’ve also got Luke Baldwin, a scrum-half – he’s unbelievably quick, he’s ideal for sevens – and Ben Ransom has played for England Under-20s this year, so we have got a lot of guys that are hopefully coming through in the sevens and showing us what they’re all about.”
The third leg of the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s will be at Allianz Park, the home of Saracens, on Saturday August 3.
For tickets and more information visit www.jpmorgan7s.com or follow @jpmorganrugby7s.