We enjoy being the Premiership's prize scalp, insists Saracens back-row forward Jackson Wray

Ross McLean
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Racing 92 v Saracens - European Rugby Champions Cup Final
Wray came through the Saracens academy (Source: Getty)

The tag of domestic and European champions offers rivals a huge incentive, although back-row forward Jackson Wray is refusing to lose any sleep over Saracens’s status as the Premiership’s prize scalp.

Sarries became the first English side for 12 years, since Wasps in 2004, to complete the double when they retained their Premiership crown with victory over Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham in May.

The north London club return to the scene of that triumph on Saturday where Worcester will be their opponents in the London Double Header, and Wray insists being the team to beat holds no fear for the Allianz Park outfit.

“It’s been like that for the last seven years or so. Everyone raises their game against us, everyone wants to beat us and that just shows the level we have got to,” Wray told City A.M.

“We enjoy it. We get to play teams at their best and test ourselves against the best and that’s what we want to do ultimately. We want to play against the best teams and win as many games as we can.

“We’re aware of it but we don’t really take too much notice of it. We want to go out there and perform as well as we can and do the things we pride ourselves on. Fingers crossed, the results then take care of themselves.”

Wray had hoped his performances last term would have resulted in international recognition – he was omitted from England’s 45-man pre-season training squad last month – although forcing his way into head coach Eddie Jones’s plans remains a sizeable goal.

“Having success at Saracens last season and also seeing and hearing about the success of the England boys when they’re away, only makes you want that more,” added Wray.

“It’s the same year on year, I try and improve on what I did the year before. I want to improve as a player, which I think I’ve done over the summer, and try and bring myself into contention. But everyone on the outside is in a similar boat.

“It’s about improving each week, playing well for the team and see what happens. I’m hoping that if I perform at a high level for Saracens, it will lead to further recognition. But the first steps start with performing well for Saracens.”