INJURY struck last weekend when Derick Hougaard hurt his Achilles in the defeat to Leinster and it has left us with no choice but to act.

Our squad is a man down, so we need to replace him and will definitely bring in a new fly-half. Alex Goode will wear the No10 shirt tonight against Newcastle but he was contracted as a full-back and we need another option.

Wales international Gavin Henson is a possible signing and he is a talented player who has a lot to offer.

Although Gavin has not played competitively for a while, if we signed him I would not have any concerns about him picking up where he left off. It would be like riding a bike for him.

Derick, meanwhile, underwent surgery on Monday for the tear in his tendon and, sadly, is not expected to play again for six months.

One of the other talking points to come out of the Leinster match was the refereeing.

I gave my opinion about the breakdown and the ERC have contacted me wanting to discuss those views. We will meet next week and see whether I am expecting too much in my interpretation, or whether the referees are wrong.

Saracens might have suffered back-to-back Heineken Cup defeats over the last two weeks but the squad remains quite confident of resuming our good domestic form now that attention is turning back to the Premiership. Personally I have forgotten about Europe already; we can’t do anything about those results now and we are focused on the next challenge. It’s not a case of prioritising domestic competitions; we want to win in all of them.

This fixture is unusual in that it is a Friday night match. We travel up to the north east during the day of the match and it does feel very different. However, we are very confident of adapting to that.

Brendan Venter is director of rugby at Saracens. For match tickets visit www.saracens.com or telephone the box office on 01727 792800.