The 2012/13 season saw Saracens finish top of the league, but finishing with no silverware after failing to beat Northampton Saints in the play off semi final. They also reached the semi final of the Heineken Cup falling to eventual winners Toulon.
The new premiership season will see both the team and their growing fan base thrive at their new home Allianz Park. The club will build on it’s core values in 2013/14 of Discipline, Honesty, Work Ethic and Humility. There is a great vibe around the club that encompasses both old hands and young players moving up through the ranks. The club has made several new signings and will work to make sure they’re ready to buy into the ethos that has seen growing success.
Here we take a look at some of the players hoping to gain a regular place in the first team this season.
1. Tim Streather
Tim was signed from Nottingham as the season was coming to a close and was named as Championship Player of the Year in May. At 25 he comes with a wealth of experience and can play either in the centre or on the wing, during his 4 year stint at Nottingham he notched up over 160 points. Clearly the Premiership is a step up but one that Tim is well equipped to take. With a number of the existing backs disappearing on international duty Tim should prove a key signing for Saracens.
2. Billy Vunipola
Billy joins his brother Mako at Saracens after being signed from Wasps. With Mako he comes from a strong line of rugby players, with both his father, 6 of his uncles and grandfather representing Tonga. He’s a strong and fast paced Number 8 who has played for England U18’s and U20’s he also travelled to Argentina to play for England in the Summer. Billy is seen as one of the bright young stars of the English game, his enthusiasm can see him giving away penalties but as he gets older and under the watchful eye of the Saracens coaching team that’s certain to change.
3. Ben Ransom
Ben is ‘home grown’ being a product of the Saracens Academy. He has bucket loads of natural talent and more than a little pace. He played a key part in taking Saracens to the finals of the Club 7’s in Bath in August. Ben played at Bedford last season and was part of the side who progressed to the Championship final where they were narrowly beaten by the Newcastle Falcons. He’s featured for England for the U18’s playing in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championships. 2013/14 may be the season we see Ben featuring for the first team where he can Impress with his skill and speed. As an aside; he’s also very handy with a cricket bat!
4. Nick Auterac
Nick is a ‘local ‘ boy having been part of the Oaklands College rugby programme in St Albans. He’s a dynamic Prop Forward who joined the full time Saracens Academy in the 2011/12 season. Nick made his first team debut for Saracens against Northampton in the LV Cup in October 2011, making his Aviva Premiership debut in November 2012. He’s been capped for the England U18’s and U20’s having missed out on U16selection through injury. Nick gained good experience last year and should continue to thrive and feature for the first team in 2013/14
5. Scott Spurling
Scott is a graduate of the Saracens Academy and has been a key member of the Saracens Storm side. Scott is a hooker who displays good ball handling skills and following in the footsteps of Schalk Britts has a good turn of pace. With Jon Smit returning to South Africa in a non playing role, a gap has opened up in the first team squad for the position at 2. Scott featured in the England U20’s team gaining 6 Caps. As well as rugby Scott has excelled at Athletics being a District Champion Discus thrower, both his father and uncle represented England playing Badminton. 2013/14 should see plenty of opportunity for Scott to don a shirt for the first team.