McCall demands focus ahead of crucial Saints clash

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has urged his side to focus on themselves ahead of their crunch fixture against Northampton Saints.

The two-time defending European Champions Cup winners are on the brink of being eliminated in the pool stages.

The north London side sit third in their pool, on 13 points, two points behind Ospreys and five behind Clermont Auvergne.

Saracens must beat the Saints and hope results elsewhere go their way and McCall admits his side most focus on winning their match at Allianz Park.

The director of rugby said: “All we can do is try and get as much out of the game as we can, Northampton have had a pretty good couple of weeks with playing fantastically well against Clermont last week and they’re definitely a team reborn with their confidence back.

“We know what’s required but it’s never nice when things aren’t in your control, but what is in our control is Saturday and putting in a good performance, trying to maximise what we can get out of the game.”

“This is the last game of the current block and it would be nice to sign off with a really strong performance that we’ve shown we’re capable of against Tigers and Wasps.”

If Sarries are to progress they will have to do it without England international Billy Vunipola who suffered a fractured forearm in the Ospreys game and is ruled out.

Schalk Burger comes into to fill his place, whilst Maro Itoje moves to six and Nick Isiekwe partners George Kruis in the second row.

Alex Goode will make is 250th appearance for the club at fullback joined by Chris Wyles who rotates with Sean Maitland on the wing.

Saints have felt the wrath of Saracens in their last two meetings, with both matches finishing in a bonus point victory for Sarries.

However, the midlands side proved their worth last week in a scintillating encounter with Clermont earning their second win in as many weeks.