Saracens are the No.1-ranked club going into the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals after equalling their own pool record of 28 points. The 2016 and 2017 winners now host Glasgow Warriors live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS on March 30. Here we look at five of their most influential players.
The 2017 EPCR European Player of the Year has boosted his European Cup points tally to 745 from 65 games with a further 57 in five Champions Cup matches this season and so is now third in the all-time list. However, the England captain and fly-half is not just a deadly goal-kicker. He is the man who makes Saracens tick via his accurate kicking from hand and slick handling, as well as being a fearsome tackler.
Goode has been nominated for the 2019 EPCR European Player of the Year award after playing in every minute of Saracens’ Pool 3 campaign. The 30-year-old full-back, who has now played 69 European games, is fourth in this season’s table for defenders beaten, with 26 opponents being bamboozled by his jinking runs from deep. He is also safe under the high ball and a solid last line of defence.
The 2016 EPCR European Player of the Year will be champing at the bit for the quarter-finals after missing most of the Six Nations Championship due to two knee injuries. The 24-year-old England lock was in fabulous form earlier this season before injury struck, landing two Heineken Man of the Match awards in his four Champions Cup appearances, notching seven turnovers and scoring two tries.
Kruis’ displays have got better and better as the season has progressed, and he has been an outstanding performer in the line-out in the Six Nations Championship. Indeed, the 29-year-old England lock won 24 line-outs in his five Pool 3 appearances for Saracens to feature in this season’s top six. He has also become a real nuisance to scrum-halves around rucks and mauls with his attempted charge-downs.
With older brother Mako injured, it is up to Billy to fly the Vunipola flag for Saracens – and the powerful No.8 is gradually approaching his best form in attack and defence, after being restricted by injuries earlier this season. In fact, the 26-year-old England ace scored a try in Saracens’ 38-19 home victory over Glasgow Warriors in Round 6, so the Scottish side are well aware of his destructive capabilities.