Brad Barritt: Saracens’ European triumph is the culmination of six years of progress

Saracens players celebrate winning the Champions Cup on Saturday. Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Saracens players celebrate winning the Champions Cup on Saturday. Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Saracens skipper Brad Barritt says Saturday’s Champions Cup triumph is the culmination of six years of progress, and he admits lifting the trophy was an “overwhelming experience”.

Sarries beat French outfit Racing 92 in Lyon to secure the club’s first European title, while the Hendon outfit also became the first team in the competition’s 21-year history to win all nine games.

“The spirit of this side is the foundation on which everything is built,” said Barritt.

“It is a culture that has been bred over the past six years, and there was truly a belief coming into this game that this was going to be our year. We clearly built up a six-year run, slowly improving year on year.

“We came up short against Toulon two years ago [in the Heineken Cup final], and that experience galvanised us. We speak metaphorically about pounding the rock and, thankfully, the rock broke on Saturday.

“I am just hugely pleased that the team stood up, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this squad. It was an unbelievable feeling getting my hands on the trophy.

“To do it with your mates, and guys you consider to be your best friends, is truly an unbelievable feeling. I am immensely proud to be part of this team. It is a bit of an overwhelming experience, but it is so pleasing.

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“We knew we had a point to prove, and that was to do it on the big stage on the day when it mattered. It is something we have truly been dreaming of, and now it has come true.”

Saracens are now preparing to host Leicester in Saturday’s Premiership semi-final as they bid to become the first English team to complete a European and domestic double since Wasps in 2004.

Fly-half Owen Farrell, who scored all of Sarries’ points against Racing 92 – kicking seven penalties in the 21-9 victory – said: “Everyone wants to finish the season off well. We have half done it, but we still have got two games to go.

“This (winning the European Cup) is right up there. I have not ranked my achievements, but it was a special day.

“It is a European final that we have won, and to come out as the champions is very special. Hopefully, there are more of these days to come.”