Mental strength vital for Sarries, claims Hodgson

Ross McLean
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Saracens’ Charlie Hodgson is the leading points scorer in Premiership history
GLORY-HUNTING fly-half Charlie Hodgson believes mental fortitude can fuel his side’s silverware assault this season as Saracens prepare to lock horns with Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop tonight.

The 33-year-old is the Premiership’s highest-ever points scorer and he got the nod over England international Owen Farrell at last week’s London Double header as Saracens secured a last-gasp victory over Wasps.

Winger David Strettle completed his hat-trick with a late winner at Twickenham and Hodgson insists such resolve will be prove priceless as Mark McCall’s side bid to recover from last season’s Premiership and Heineken Cup heartache.

“We never think that a game is lost, you have to keep going until the end, until that chance of winning has gone,” said Hodgson. “It’s a measure of the belief we have in the squad, the team as a whole and in each other as players. There’s always a feeling that we can win from any situation.”

Both sides make a solitary change for the clash with the highly-rated Jackson Wray replacing Kelly Brown as Sarries’ blindside flanker while for Harlequins Ollie Lindsay-Hague replaces winger Ugo Monye, who requires groin surgery.

And Lindsay-Hague, a scorer in last Saturday’s 20-15 victory over London Irish, is also keen for his side to erase the memory of past disappointments and is hopeful a productive start to the campaign can prove a springboard for future success.

“Losing in the semi-finals for the last two years has been tough,” he said. “We want to win trophies and those losses have made us a little bit hungrier but we know we have to start well.”

Winger Christian Wade, meanwhile, has been cleared to feature for Wasps against Northampton Saints on Sunday despite being involved in a minor car crash yesterday. Elsewhere, London Welsh travel to Bath tomorrow while London Irish head to Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.