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Saracens gearing up for LV=Cup final as they bid to win trophy for the first time

PUBLISHED: 14:25 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:25 17 March 2015

Saracens captain Maro Itoje tackles Northampton's Tom Ryder during the semi-final

Saracens captain Maro Itoje tackles Northampton's Tom Ryder during the semi-final

Archant

Saracens will face Exeter Chiefs in the final of the LV=Cup on Sunday as the north London club looks to win the trophy for the first time in their history.

Having reached the semi-finals of the competition five times in recent years, Sarries finally made it through to the final after an impressive 24-20 victory over Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on Saturday.

The hosts trailed 13-5 at half-time, despite David Strettle crossing the line, but scored 16 unanswered points immediately after the interval, including a contender for the try of the season from Mike Ellery.

Saracens head to the final at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday looking to add another trophy in the cabinet. But coach Joe Shaw says he will resist the temptation to bring new faces into the team, instead preferring to stick with the mixture of youth and experience that has given the club five wins from five in the competition this season.

He said: “The journey this playing group has been on has been pretty special and they formed a really strong bond during that campaign.

“We’ve been to some fantastic places and got some really impressive wins. Going to play the Ospreys away at The Gnoll is always an ‘interesting’ experience for young players. To beat Exeter and Harlequins – who had strong sides out on those occasions – and beat London Welsh, who had a first team out that day, was great.

“To carry that on by beating a really tough team such as Northampton, who had such an experienced pack, is another great experience. These guys will get the chance to carry that on against Exeter Chiefs after earning a place in the final.”

Meanwhile, Saracens are giving players who may have slipped through the rugby net the chance to win a professional contract with the Aviva Premiership club with a series of ‘S Factor’ trials.

The north London side will be holding three open trials across the country for those who wish to impress the coaching staff.

They are open to those who have just been released from a Premiership club academy or maybe those excelling at rugby league, wrestling, basketball or water polo.

To be part of the trials, you need to be aged 18 or over and not currently contracted to a Premiership club.

“I love the idea that there is a hidden gem out there - a rough diamond that is yet to be unearthed - or someone that missed their chance through circumstance or misfortune,” explained Saracens’ forwards Coach Paul Gustard.

“It’s an exciting concept for players who feel they have got what it takes and have a genuine chance to be involved with a professional club. I, for one, can’t wait to see who comes, and who that person or persons will be!”

The trials will take place at Bristol University, Durham University and Broadstreet Rugby Club in Coventry on Sunday March 29, Sunday April 12 and Sunday April 19 respectively (all at 9am).

To register, email your name, age, position and rugby CV to sfactor@saracens.net


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