Saracens kick start Championship life with trip to Cornish Pirates

Saracens head coach Mark McCall watches the team warm up prior to the beginning of the Gallagher Pre

Saracens head coach Mark McCall watches the team warm up prior to the beginning of the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park, London. - Credit: PA

Saracens begin life in the Championship this weekend, as they look to bounce back to the Premiership at the first time of asking. 

First up for head coach Mark McCall’s men is a long trip to Penzance to take on the Cornish Pirates, where they will hope to smuggle the points back to London and start as they mean to go on. 

The pressure will be on the Sarries as it was revealed this week that if they fail to gain promotion they could cease to exist. 

While the Championship club and their parent company, Premier Team Holdings (PTH), are confident of a return to the top flight, the club’s accountants warn that a failure to achieve promotion would create “material uncertainty” over their future. 

Signing off on accounts filed to Companies House this week, Jamie Sherman of Moore Kingston Smith said: “Although the board believes that promotion to the Gallagher Premiership will be achieved, there can be no guarantee this will be the case.” 

Should Saracens fail to win the Championship, Sherman added that “a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”. 

They head into the season opener full of confidence after a successful pre-season which saw them wrap their friendlies up in style, as they run in seven tries in a 47-12 victory over Coventry at Butts Park Arena. 

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Alex Lewington scored a hat-trick in the Midlands and was joined on the scoresheet by the solo scores of Juan Pablo Socino, Tim Swinson, Vincent Koch and Tom Whiteley. 

File photo dated 21-02-2020 of Manu Vunipola.

File photo dated 21-02-2020 of Manu Vunipola. - Credit: PA

Fly-half Manu Vunipola nudged 12 points from the tee. 

They were also boosted by the news that Kelly Brown has returned to the club to take up a role as assistant coach. 

Brown spent 10 years at Sarries in a playing and coaching capacity from 2010 to 2020 before taking up a breakdown and contact area coach role with Glasgow Warriors. 

Making over 150 appearances for the Men in Black, he contributed immensely on the field, helping Saracens win their first ever Premiership and European titles, as well as two further domestic successes and a second Champions Cup, ahead of retiring in 2017.