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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020
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McCall promises to bring back the big guns for Munster's visit to Saracens

The Sarries boss had mixed feelings after his side’s 10-3 defeat in Thomond Park.

SARACENS BOSS MARK McCall has promised to bring back his big guns for the visit of Munster to Allianz Park next weekend in a huge Champions Cup clash.

maro-itoje-after-the-game A disappointed Maro Itoje after Munster's win. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

McCall and his much-weakened Sarries team came away from Thomond Park this evening with mixed feelings after securing a losing bonus point in a 10-3 defeat to Munster in miserable weather conditions.

Front-line England internationals Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, George Kruis, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, and Billy Vunipola were all left at home by Saracens for the trip to Limerick, but McCall is now set to bring them back into the team for next Saturday’s clash at Allianz Park.

“Yeah, we’ll rotate,” said McCall post-match at Thomond Park. “Some of the people who haven’t played today will play. Some of our non-internationals who have had a really busy eight weeks or so, they’ll get some rest.

“We’ve just got to try and manage our group as well as we can. We believe we’ve got a really competitive group of players and our young players are getting some great experience, especially in a great place like Thomond Park.”

With the strong wind behind them, albeit in very wet conditions, Saracens left Thomond Park with some frustration at not getting more than a losing bonus point from this evening’s contest.

manu-vunipola-and-jackson-wray-after-the-game Saracens' Manu Vunipola and Jackson Wray at Thomond Park. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

However, McCall took some pride in how his team, missing many of their stars, coped against Munster’s full-strength side.

Sarries lie third in Pool 4 after three games, five match points behind Munster and six behind group leaders Racing 92. However, the English side will believe they can earn enough from their remaining three fixtures to secure a Champions Cup quarter-final. 

“‘The effort, the togetherness that we showed, the ability to bounce back from a number of things that went wrong was really good,” said McCall of his side’s performance in Limerick.

“There’s a bit of frustration because having got ourselves into a situation where we had the elements and only a seven-point deficit, it’s probably something we’ll look back on and be frustrated that we couldn’t have done better in the second half.

“We need to win next week. We do know that Munster have got a tough game [away] against Racing in round five so there’s definitely hope, but next week is huge for us and we’ve got to win next week.”

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Murray Kinsella

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