Saracens prop Eroni Mawi has explained how the three-time European champions’ more experienced players inspired their 44-14 win at Gloucester Rugby in the EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

The Gallagher Premiership side marched into the semi-finals where they will travel to RC Toulon thanks to tries from Aled Davies, Maro Itoje, Nick Tompkins, Jamie George and Duncan Taylor.

Mawi, who played just under an hour at Kinsgholm, highlighted Itoje’s leadership as a key factor in Saracens’ victory and detailed how his team prepared to deal with Gloucester’s strengths.

“It was mainly about all the big dogs, the big boys,” he told Saracens’ official account after the game. “Maro – there was loads of chat [from him] and there was loads of confidence coming out of him.

“Every week, in and out, we’ve been working on our mauls because we know Gloucester are a very good mauling team. So, we’ve been working on our defence and our attack at the same time.

“It paid off today, especially coming away and putting up a big score.

“It is truly a dream come true – I never thought I would play for Saracens.”

Flanker Theo McFarland was also full of praise for Itoje: “To be playing alongside Maro, [a] world class second row, Mako [and] Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell, all these experienced lads, I’m just learning a lot from them.”