Sean McMahon reporting from St James Park, Newcastle.
Saracens captain Brad Barritt believes his side are in “great condition” ahead of their Heineken Champions Cup final with Leinster at St James Park on Saturday.
Mark McCall’s side more or less have a full-strength side to choose from with Michael Rhodes the only major absence from the squad.
In fact, Rhodes’ absence sees Maro Itoje move to blindside flanker and the powerful Will Skelton come into the starting XV to partner George Kruis at second-row.
Skelton’s promotion from the bench sees England international Nick Isiekwe come into the squad which highlights the strength and depth of the reigning Premiership champions.
Have Saracens ever been in better shape?
“Probably not,” Barritt replied.
“There’s certainly a good sense in the team we’ve had good momentum from the last year. We’ve learned a lot from the defeat to Leinster. The team are in great condition, we had good performances in the quarter-final and the semi-final but we’re aware we need to step it up another level against this Leinster team tomorrow. We’re more than ready for it.”
McCall is also pleased to see the strength of his hand which he has at this stage of the season.
“You want to have your best players available for these types of games,” McCall said.
“Both clubs have named strong teams. If you had told me at the start of the season that this would be the team that we would end up with in the European Cup final I would have been happy with that.”