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My support makes me feel part of a big family

IT’S been a difficult week for everyone here at Saracens, and with the Premiership final with Leicester just eight days away, you could say the timing might have been better.

But, on the positive side, it’s brought everyone closer together, like one big family, and that makes me extremely proud as head coach.

On Tuesday, I was handed a 14-week touchline ban following an incident at Leicester for which I received the full support of my club chairman Nigel Wray, CEO Edward Griffiths and the rest of the Saracens board.

Unfortunately, their support and their view of the situation sparked a reaction from RFU disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett, which then prompted the club to issue a statement last night in response, where they told of their sadness and disappointment.

As the matter is going to appeal, I can not say anything, only to say how honoured I am to have had this support. It makes you realise just how much of a family we really are here at Saracens.

On the field, the players are gearing up for next week’s big final and enjoyed a really good training session yesterday. I’ve given them a deserved weekend off, and after two or three intense sessions next week, we’ll be ready to try and claim a first Premiership title in the club’s history.

Tomorrow is also the all-French Heineken Cup final between Toulouse and Biarritz and I really can’t see beyond Toulouse to lift the biggest prize in European club rugby.