Summer of brooding leaves Borthwick eager for restart

RUGBY is a game of inches and fine margins, and no one knows this better than Saracens’ veteran captain Steve Borthwick.

Last season was a case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride for Borthwick’s men as they fell at the final hurdle in nearly every competition to end up empty handed. But he believes that a summer to reflect on missed opportunities will see Saracens come back all guns blazing this weekend in their Aviva Premiership opening fixture against London Irish at Twickenham.

“It’s disappointing to end up empty handed after all that, of course it is. Every one of the players was disappointed,” said Borthwick.

“You want to finish the season in finals and win silverware. We have high expectations at Saracens. But you study, you look for the reasons why, and then you go away and work on them.

“We’re here at the start of the season and we have very high expectations. I’m not thinking about being happy to get to semi-finals. I’m thinking about kicking the season off as well as we possibly can and trying to get a win every single week.”

Despite the Exiles having battled against relegation last season, Borthwick is not taking anything for granted as he bids to add another happy Twickenham memory to his CV on Saturday.

“We’ve done the London Double Header for many years now so hopefully it will be a great atmosphere and I’m sure it will be a tough game against a very tough opponent,” he added.

“We got off to a very good start 12 months ago and we’ll try and do that again. We’ve been fortunate to have some very good memories at Twickenham: the opening day of last season against London Irish, the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster and the Premiership final we won here in 2011.”

The London Double Header returns to Twickenham on 7 September with two crucial Aviva Premiership Rugby matches: London Irish v Saracens followed by London Wasps v Harlequins. Tickets from ticketmaster.co.uk