SARACENS hardly need any extra motivation for tomorrow’s Heineken Cup quarter-final with Ulster, but England centre Brad Barritt admits the Premiership leaders are desperate to win for boss Mark McCall.
McCall was an instrumental figure in helping Ulster conquer Europe in 1999, alongside the Irishmen’s then captain David Humphreys, who will be his opposite number in the Twickenham dugout.
“In any situation when a guy plays against a previous club there’s always that added incentive, and as players it’s our duty to give them a memorable day. That’s something we’ll all put our hearts and passion into achieving,” Barritt told City A.M. at a visit to club sponsor and foreign currency specialists AFEX.
“It’s a huge incentive for us to make it a great day for them. But at Saracens we always take it as the next game. There’s no extra incentive needed for this tie.”
Ulster reached the final last year, where they were well beaten by Leinster, while Saracens have never gone past the last four – a record the north Londoners have a made a priority of improving.
“It’s something we’ve been getting better at and improving on year by year,” he added. “It’s a huge burning ambition for every player in this club and it starts against Ulster.”
Saracens have been regular visitors to Twickenham in recent years, not including their England contingent’s home games, making HQ feel even more familiar than their new stadium Allianz Park.
“It’s our home away from home. Many of us have probably played there eight or nine times a season,” Barritt said. “I’ve only played at the new stadium once. It would have been great to play at Allianz Park but it wasn’t to be and to play at Twickenham is a huge honour.”
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