Saracens hooker Jamie George has hailed his side’s 20-10 victory over Leinster Rugby in the Heineken Champions Cup final at St James’ Park as the greatest achievement of his career to date.  

George – who completed 20 tackles and won six lineouts in front of a capacity crowd in Newcastle – played a crucial role in the win alongside tryscorers Sean Maitland and Billy Vunipola, while fly-half Owen Farrell kicked the rest of the points for the English side.

The 28-year-old couldn’t hide his delight after winning the Heineken Champions Cup for the third time, saying: “This has been the best achievement of my rugby career so far. 

“I’m feeling pretty bruised and battered, but absolutely elated. We’re the best club in Europe and have just won the best competition in club rugby – it’s a pretty good feeling. 

In an attritional encounter there was seldom room to breathe, but despite feeling the war wounds, George insisted the victory has been a whole squad effort for Saracens.  

George added: “Over 40 players have been involved in matchday squads this season and we have a great squad and we showed that in those people who came off the bench last night.  

“Leinster are an amazing team and they are so good when they get on the front foot so we had to try and steal their momentum and we did that with line speed and physicality.” 

Momentum ebbed and flowed in a classic continental clash, but George felt the response to losing back-row Maro Itoje to the sin bin after 30 minutes was the defining factor on Saturday afternoon 

He said: “I think when Maro went to the bin it was probably the most important moment for us out there on field in how we managed that period and turned it around.  

“We took it to Leinster with just 14 men and to go in 10-10 at half-time was huge psychological advantage for us.