Borthwick: Saints should expect a Sarries backlash

SARACENS captain Steve Borthwick is convinced his team-mates possess the strength of character to bounce back from their Heineken Cup heartbreak when they face Northampton Saints in tomorrow’s Aviva Premiership Rugby final.

The Twickenham clash will bring the curtain down on Borthwick’s 16-year playing career.

And as the 34-year-old bids to go out on an ultimate high, he insists there will be no hangover from the 23-6 loss to Toulon.

“This group over the last few years has always responded really well to anything that’s been thrown at us – good or bad,” said the former England captain who won 57 caps.

“We’re going to go out and play as hard as we possibly can. We’re playing against a very good team in Northampton, as we did in Toulon, so I can’t tell you what the result is going to be but we are going to give it our very best shot.”

Borthwick has made a record 265 Aviva Premiership appearances for Bath Rugby and Saracens. And regardless of the result come tomorrow afternoon at Rugby HQ, the lock is adamant he will hang up his boots with a sense of fulfilment.

“I’ve played for two great clubs, I’ve earned the respect of my team-mates and made lots of great friends along the way,” he added.

“It’s been a fantastic journey as a player and hopefully there are plenty of steps still to go involved in this brilliant sport.

“It takes its toll but playing this amazing sport, whether you earn money for it or not, is a privilege. To be involved in this great club, to have played previously for 10 seasons at Bath, and to have represented England – who wouldn’t bite your hand off at what I’ve been able to do.

“There are costs along the way and it takes its toll but I honestly don’t bat an eyelid at those now. I’d go back and do it all again to have those experiences again.”

For the final few tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final tomorrow visit premiershiprugby.com/Final