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Saturday 17 November 2018

No Wiggle room left for Saracens

Settled: Wigglesworth
Settled: Wigglesworth

There is a strong suspicion that Owen Farrell will be ready to take revenge on Jonathan Sexton in the Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday (KO 3.30, BTSport 2).

The out-half was held back from club duty in the Premiership and is rated 50-50 due to a quad injury.

England half-back partner Richard Wigglesworth was not about to give away any selection secrets.

"We all know what difference Owen makes to any team," he said.

"We will turn up and get on with whatever situation we are put in.

"It's knockout rugby. There's no point wishing who could play for you, if they're not ready."

What if the boot was on the other foot and Leinster had to contemplate the quarter-final without Sexton.

"You don't know if you bother talking about the opposition that much, if you target anyone or if you don't.

"You can spend too long thinking about who is and isn't playing.

"We will just take it as it comes with Owen."

Saracens' consistency has been unrivalled in the last five years, making two semi-finals (2013 and 2015) and three finals (2014, 2016 and 2017), winning the last two.

"We are a pretty settled group, been together a while, and that experience in the big games has held us in good stead," he said.

"We went through pain before we got some success, so we've been through the good and the bad.

"All those experiences probably make you better players and more composed on the big stage."

They did just about enough as the eighth seed to be drawn away to Leinster and will have to do without Billy Vunipola.

"They are top seeds for a reason," he said.

"They haven't got too many weaknesses. They're very strong up front; dangerous out wide.

"They've got a strong kicking game. It will be a full-throttle contest."

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