Aviva Premiership
Borthwick talks up Saracens' potential
ESPN Staff
August 30, 2012
Saracens Steve Borthwick looks to work an opening, Saracens v Stade Francais, Honourable Artillery Company Ground, London, England, August 23, 2012
Saracens skipper Steve Borthwick faces stiff competition for his place in the side this season © Getty Images

Saracens captain

Speaking ahead of his side's opener against London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday, Borthwick has talked up his side's potential and backed them to recapture the kind of form that saw them crowned champions in 2011.

"Pre-season has gone really well and you get to that point where everyone is just looking forward to getting stuck into the season," he said. "You want to play those big games. So everyone is excited about what is ahead. It's been nice for me to have a first full pre-season in a decade and get involved in the great coaching we have at Saracens.

"It's been all about constantly looking for the edges, every area of the team, every area of the coaching group constantly looking to try and improve things in their area.

"I think that is what we've really worked hard to do this pre-season and it has gone well. It was a frustrating year last year but there were positives being only two points off the top, having young players come through and being the only English club to reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. But ultimately we want to improve, we need to improve, and I think we have because everyone else will be in this highly competitive league that we are in."

Borthwick looks set to share the second row duties with England international Mouritz Botha, new signing Alistair Hargreaves and rising star George Kruis all in the selection mix but the skipper insists their strength in depth extends beyond lock.

"You should keep an eye on prop Mako Vunipola because I think he is a phenomenal prospect and he is going to go very, very far. He was the best player on the pitch on the tour to Hong Kong, he was fantastic," he added. "Then George Kruis, who I think is a phenomenal player, will hopefully one day soon get to play in an England shirt.

"There are loads I could choose but Will Fraser played a lot of rugby towards the end of last season and he's a tough competitor who I think could really do things for Saracens this year moving forward."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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