Rugby Union: Former Saracens winger David Strettle excited to face former club with Clermont Auvergne in final of European Champions Cup
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Sarries meet French outfit in final in Edinburgh on Saturday
Saracens tackle Top 14 side Clermont Auvernge in the final of the European Champions Cup at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield on Saturday, and there will be a familiar face in the French team’s ranks.
Winger David Strettle spent five years with Sarries before moving to the Stade Marcel-Michelin in 2015.
It will be the first time the 33-year-old has come up against his former team since leaving Allianz Park two years ago.
Strettle will be back in North London this summer as he takes part in the Worldwide Currencies Cup at Allianz Park on June 30, which forms part of this year’s Sevens and the City event.
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And with plenty of current Saracens also expected to be on show, Strettle hopes to gain an early upper hand on them this weekend.
“I’m hoping for bragging rights before I see a few of them at Sevens in the City!” he said.
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“It will be strange playing against Saracens as I haven’t played them since I left.
“Credit to Saracens, they’ve shown they are a good team this season and we know we have to be on the top of our game to win.”
Strettle will have plenty of insider knowledge on Sarries that Clermont will be looking to harvest ahead of the weekend.
But the winger, who also played for Harlequins in the Avivia Premiership, says there is no great secret behind his Saracens’ success, other than they do things right.
“I was lucky enough to have played for Saracens, but there are no great secrets to what they do,” added Strettle.
“They have a good work ethic and do the basics well, they put pressure on your kicks and come alive when given the chance to counter attack.”
Strettle is equally well versed in knowing the Saracens players Clermont must keep quiet, having watched many come through the ranks during his time at Allianz Park.
And as a former Sarries player, he is happy those players the club have developed are now leading their charge to glory.
“When I was at the club, you could see the direction in which it was heading and now all the effort that has been put in is coming to fruition,” he said.
“You look at the players who have come through in recent seasons, the likes of Jamie George, Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, George Kruis – they are all world-class players.”
• David Strettle and a host of stars are playing in the Worldwide Currencies game at Allianz Park on June 30. The match is for rugby’s #LiftTheWeight campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues. Tickets from sevensandthecity.com.