Mark McCall has refused to comment further on the sanctions placed on Saracens by Premiership Rugby for breaching the salary cap regulations over the past three seasons.
The club were fined over £5.3 million earlier this week on top of a 35-point deduction in the Premiership table for failing to disclose payments to players in each of the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, in addition to having exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players in each of the three seasons.
The club have confirmed that they will appeal the decision.
The fourth-round Premiership clash between Saracens and Gloucester is currently underway at Kingsholm and prior to kick-off, Director of Rugby Mark McCall was asked by BT Sport if the blame should fall at his door.
“It’s been a really challenging week, as you can imagine.
“I’m thrilled with how the players and the staff have rallied during the week and got on with the task at hand which is all that we can do.
“This group, in particular, have shown a lot of grit and a lot of toughness over the last four weeks and we’re going to have to show that again today against a full-strength Gloucester side.”
McCall was pressed further on the matter but refused to comment while the appeal is ongoing.
“I understand why you’re asking me that question but hopefully you understand that the club are appealing the decision and in those circumstances, it’s probably not right for me to add to what has already been released by the club.”
How did it happen?
How does this impact the squad?
How did the players respond?
Saracens' Director of Rugby Mark McCall addresses the salary cap breach for the first time. pic.twitter.com/CN2wTZDfLD
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) November 9, 2019
McCall reiterated that he is proud of how his players have responded to the news and insisted that they need to focus on matters on-field for now.
“I think they were shocked if I’m absolutely honest. But like I said, they’ve been magnificent in terms of how they’ve rallied together and got on with the job in hand.
“My job at the moment is to get on with the rugby and try and get the best out of this group and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”
“As you know from down the years, we’ve got a really tight group here and we were really encouraged that all our World Cup players were in twice last week and it was certainly an internal show of unity. Today is just about the players fighting for each other and supporting each other.”
The 51-year-old also denied that there have been discussions to trim down the Saracens squad.