Mark McCall paid tribute to his England players for the way they made an instant impact on their return for Saracens after a 32-17 win over Leicester Tigers at StoneX Stadium.

McCall threw a host of his England stars straight back into the mix for the battle of the last two Gallagher Premiership champions, and they repaid that decision in spades.

Maro Itoje grabbed the first try on his way to being named player of the match, while England team-mates Billy Vunipola and Jamie George also crossed to help Saracens to a bonus point and Owen Farrell kicked 12 points, with McCall thrilled at their displays.

He said: "I'm very pleased. It wasn't perfect - far from it, but it was a bit of a gamble with seven English internationals coming back who had not been at the club for the last four months.

"I'm just surprised that those international players were as enthusiastic to come and play for their club as they were.

"They haven't been here, they've been training with a different team, a different system, but what we've found down the years is that these players are very good at coming back in and getting on board very quickly, and you saw that today with the way they all played.

"I'm really proud of those England players.

"They all had an option [for a week off], we left it to them to see when their break was going to happen and they all said they wanted to come in and play this game which says something."

Sarries have now won back-to-back games after taking no points from their first two games of the season, with Itoje and Andy Christie helping them into a 14-3 half-time lead.

Vunipola and George wrapped up the bonus point early in the second half, with Tigers - still without their own England contingent, scoring two late tries through Tom Whiteley and Jamie Shillcock.

Tigers boss Dan McKellar had no regrets about resting his England stars and admitted it was always going to be tough as a result.

He said: "I thought we showed a whole lot of fight, but we didn't execute.

"My approach was always to give the boys a week off after the World Cup, to connect with family.

"It's a huge emotional and physical toll on their bodies to go through three or four months in camp.

"That was always my approach, and Mark [McCall] took a different approach. There's no right or wrong.

"We knew it was going to be a big challenge coming here and playing against a fully loaded Saracens side but we can't control what they do, we can only control what we do.

"They played well and we needed to do better. It's encouraging but we didn't come here to have a romantic loss, we came here to win, it's as simple as that.

"We executed three from 11 in the attacking 22, they executed five from eight - that's the ball game."

*copy from Press Association.