It’s ‘do or die’ for Saracens against Exeter, says captain Hargreaves

Saracens captain Alistair Hargreaves

Saracens captain Alistair Hargreaves - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Saracens captain Alistair Hargreaves has issued a rallying cry to fans ahead of Sunday’s “do or die” Premiership showdown with Exeter Chiefs at Allianz Park on Sunday.

The Hendon club, who currently sit third, need to win to maintain hopes of a top-two finish in the table, which would secure a home semi-final.

However, fifth-placed Exeter are also hunting a place in the play-offs so Saracens cannot afford a slip-up against a side who are just three points behind them in the table – and Hargreaves is hoping the home crowd will give his side the edge.

“Allianz Park has given us an identity and we love playing here,” he said. “To have a place we call home fills us with pride.

“To play in front of our home fans, who are always so alive and so vocal, gives us the extra five per cent we need to deliver big performances and their support means everything to us.

“This is going to be a huge game, really do or die for us. We need all the support we can get. Our fans give us a massive boost and we’re hoping for a really big turnout and we want to put in a good performance for them.

“It’s turned into a massive game with both Exeter and ourselves chasing a place in the end-of-season play-offs. Exeter have shown throughout the season that they continue to improve as a Premiership side and are now really among the contenders to take the title.

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“We’ve played them twice this season. They beat us down in Devon but we got the better of them when they came to Allianz Park in the LV=Cup – but those results won’t count for anything on Sunday.”

Those who attend this weekend’s game will be invited to join the Saracens squad on the pitch after the match.

It is the final regular-season home match of the campaign and, to thank their supporters, all of the Sarries players will remain on the pitch after full-time to sign autographs and pose for photos.

Meanwhile, two Saracens players have been nominated for league awards, with Billy Vunipola nominated for the Premiership Forward of the Year prize and Maro Itoje shortlisted in the Discovery of the Year category.

Itoje is up against Exeter’s Jack Nowell and Henry Slade, Wasps’ Elliot Daly and Harlequins’ Jack Clifford.

Both awards will be decided at the Premiership Awards Dinner on May 20.