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Saracens much more prepared for Premiership semi than 2017 says Kruis

PUBLISHED: 17:35 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:28 21 May 2019

Saracens George Kruis and Saracens Maro Itoje celebrate winning the Champions Cup Final at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: RICHARD SELLERS/PA

Saracens George Kruis and Saracens Maro Itoje celebrate winning the Champions Cup Final at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: RICHARD SELLERS/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

George Kruis says Saracens are in a much better place and more mentally prepared to face Gloucester than they were two years ago.

That year saw just seven days separate their win over Clermont in the Champions Cup and their Premiership semi-final with Exeter Chiefs.

They won the European contest, with the big second row on the scoresheet at Murrayfield, before going down to a last-minute Sam Simmonds try in Devon.

Kruis admitted that perhaps the celebrations took the edge of their preparations in 2017 but thanks to an extra week this time around following their titanic and brilliant 20-10 win over Leinster, the Men in Black are ready and raing to go against the Cherry and Whites at Allianz Park.

Kruis said: "We've been fortunate that a lot of us have had a rest this week.

"That's a nice thing to have. We struggled two years going straight from the European Cup to a similar game with Exeter.

"That was a tough game, mentally and physically.

"For me it was one of the toughest games to play in and to take the loss as well.

"There wasn't a long turnaround time between winning in Europe and going again in the semi-final and we probably weren't prepared as we could have been.

"But we've worked very hard in preparation this week and it's such a big thing to play well in and win games like this."

Gloucester will arrive in NW4 having finished 10 points behind Sarries in the table.

But they boast, in Danny Cipriani, a mercurial talent with a point to prove to England head coach Eddie Jones ahead of this autumn's World Cup.

But Kruis says there is much more to the Kingsholm side that the talismanic number 10.

"They've improved over the last few seasons," he said. "They haven't just become a better side, they've worked hard and recruited well. And they rank right up there in the statistics.

"They are a decent team and for us it's about raising our game.

"A lot of times in semis and finals there is a very simple game plan. You have to win your set-piece and physicality is huge.

"This is a massive game. It's the semi-final of the Premiership and something you've worked all year for.

"We've talked about it and it's something we're buzzing for."

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