Losing Soane is a blessing in disguise

THE long, drawn-out Soane Tonga’uiha transfer saga finally reached its conclusion yesterday, and I have to say it’s turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise for us.

Although I had nothing to do with the agreement between CEO’s to allow Tonga’uiha to remain at Northampton, I was entirely happy with the final outcome, purely because, in hindsight, he was obviously not the right person for Saracens Rugby Club.

Initially I was disappointed with Soane’s decision to renege on his decision to join us at the end of the season, but having sat down and thought about it, it’s clear that, with values like that, things wouldn’t have worked out for him here.

It’s like marriage. If you break up with someone before you are married then things are nowhere near as painful as when you break up when married and go through a divorce. It’s saved us from a lot more pain along the line.

As it is, we have already replaced Soane with the signing of a very good loosehead prop which we will announce shortly. Needless to say, I’m delighted with how it’s turned out.

Next for us is a trip to Wembley tomorrow to take on rivals Harlequins in a crucial Premiership match.

We’ve had the privilege of playing at Wembley three times before and we are thoroughly looking forward to running out there again – with maximum points very much the aim.

There have been concerns about the state of the pitch but I don’t see that affecting us in any way tomorrow. Footballers play with blades whereas rugby players play in six-studded boots, so I can’t see us experiencing the same problems.

Brendan Venter’s Saracens play Harlequins at Wembley on Saturday, kick off 5.30pm. Tickets, from £5, will be available for sale at the Wembley Box Office.