Sunday’s clash at Allianz Park will see the European champions Saracens aiming to inflict a fourth successive league defeat on last season’s runners-up Wasps, a fate not suffered since March 2014 for Dai Young’s men.
While the visiting Wasps director of rugby is pained not to make excuses, his injury-depleted squad has clearly been a factor. However, speaking this week, Young was keen to focus on the task ahead.
“If you look at it on a negative point of view, it’s probably not the game that you want on the back of a load of injuries and a couple of losses. From a positive viewpoint, it’s an ideal venue to go and play when you’re looking to build a bit of confidence and looking to bounce back. We’re really looking forward to it.”
For Saracens, Brad Barritt will be looking to play in his 200th game for the club. He made his debut in 2008 aged 21 under Eddie Jones in a squad that featured current teammates Chris Wyles and Alex Goode. He recalls that there was snow on the training pitches when he arrived, which was a bit of a shock to the system for a boy from Durban.
“I think it’s a great milestone. It’s an immensely proud moment for me, my wife and my son. My body’s feeling good, I’m mentally stimulated with what I’m doing and I’ve really enjoyed the start of the season.”
With 26 caps for England, Barritt has won silverware with Saracens across various competitions including two European Champions Cups, three Aviva Premiership titles and an LV= Cup.
Hugh Vyvyan was one of the players who Barritt credits as impactful in his development and also says Steve Borthwick was inspirational in terms of how he prepared for games. Given the club finished 8th in the season that he joined, it is the journey to success that Barritt says gives him the most satisfaction.
“It’s having been here from the start. From where the club was in 2008 to seeing the club through to where it is now – that’s the most satisying part.”
Saracens take on Wasps at Allianz Park at 3pm, the game is live on BT Sport.