Saracens want to avoid being bitten by Sharks

Calum Clark (left) of Saracens (pic: Nigel French/PA)

Calum Clark (left) of Saracens (pic: Nigel French/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Sarries back in league action on Saturday after exertions in Heineken Champions Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup

Saracens are back in Gallagher Premiership action on Saturday when they play host to Sale Sharks.

Owing to the Heineken Champions Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup, the north Londoners have not played in the league since beating Harlequins on October 6.

Sarries will end that long hiatus from league action this weekend, but will do so without several key players.

The likes of Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Liam Williams and Sean Maitland are all busy representing their respective countries in the Autumn Internationals, which could see some fringe players handed a chance.

Calum Clark will be hoping he can feature in the absence of some key players, having captained the Allianz Park outfit as they beat Worcester Warriors 34-22 in the Premiership Rugby Cup last weekend.

The flanker led a Sarries team packed full of promising youngsters in the win over Warriors and he was honoured to have been handed the opportunity to skipper the side.

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“It’s been an absolute joy to work with the younger lads and see their energy and what they’ve brought,” Clark told the club website.

“I think we’ve learned absolutely loads as a group in the past three weeks, but we’re not happy with exactly where we’re at with our performances; we have to keep learning, we have to keep pushing.

“To have won two and drawn one is really pleasing and I’m excited about this young group of lads.”

Ali Crossdale scored a brace of tries for Sarries in the win over Worcester, while Schalk Burger, Alex Lewington, Ben Earl and Will Skelton also dotted down.

Despite the end result, the Allianz Park side trailed by two points at the break and Clark was pleased with their second-half comeback to overcome Warriors.

“In the first half we were frustrated with the amount of ball we coughed up; we got in good attacking positions and we tried to force it a little bit,” added Clark.

“We fixed that in the second half, managed to get some scoreboard pressure and we’re pleased with what we were able to do.”

The recent Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures saw Saracens pitted against Sharks, with the sides playing out a 15-15 draw at the AJ Bell Stadium on November 2.

The north Londoners will hope they can triumph this weekend.