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Spencer: Young guns are raring to go as Saracens begin defence of Ango-Welsh Cup

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 November 2016

Saracens' Ben Spencer celebrates with the trophy after Saracens' victory in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final in March 2015

Saracens' Ben Spencer celebrates with the trophy after Saracens' victory in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final in March 2015

PA Archive/PA Images

Ben Spencer says Saracens' young guns are raring to go as they begin the defence of their Anglo-Welsh Cup crown against Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday, writes Aaron Tillyer.

The Hendon-based club are bidding to retain the title they won back in March 2015, before the World Cup’s inclusion in the calendar last season took precedence over the club competition.

Sarries tend to field a youthful line-up in the LV= Cup and 24-year-old Spencer, who was part of the side that last lifted the trophy at Franklin’s Gardens, is keen to go the distance again.

“There are a lot of youngsters in the side and they’re just really looking forward to getting out on the pitch,” he told Ham&High Sport. “The enthusiasm is there and the excitement’s there and we’re going into it with a lot of confidence.

“The good thing about this group is the togetherness – we’ve shown on the field together that it helps with that end result.

“We showed it two years ago in the final. We were up by a few points against Exeter and we got together as a group and ended up winning the game.

“There’s definitely excitement around the club this week. Obviously we didn’t play it last year, and a few boys haven’t played for a while, but everyone’s just looking forward to getting out there.”

With a number of Saracens players leaving Allianz Park on international duty, the younger members of the squad now have a chance to take centre stage and stake a claim for positions in the senior side.

“We have a policy at the club – there’s no pick and choose, so we turn up every week, whether it’s the LV= Cup, the A League or Europe,” said Spencer.

“The guys who are stepping into the positions of guys who are away are doing all they can to make the coaches make a tough decision when the boys do come back from England [duty].

“We might get a few boys back from England but the depth in the squad is so strong. We can back the guys who are stepping in 100 per cent. Everyone can do a job here and I think the guys who are stepping up are really looking forward to it.”

Spencer has featured heavily during Sarries’ successful start to the term, with the north Londoners sitting top of the Premiership table and their Champions Cup group, and he added: “We looked at that block of games before the international break. We’re very happy with how the season’s started.

“We knew going into this season that it will be harder to back up what we achieved last year but the boys have come in after the internationals in the summer and really put our heads down and got back to work. It’s pretty much the same atmosphere as last year and we’re ready to kick on.

“Yes, we’re the holders going into the new competition but we treat every week like a new week. We’re going into the competition with a lot of confidence and hopefully we’ll get a good result on Saturday.”

Follow me on Twitter @AaronTillyer

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