Saracens Women head coach Rob Cain says his squad are ready to kick off the Tyrrells Premier 15s campaign and are excited for the challenge the new competition will bring.
The squad have been put through their paces throughout the summer and travel to Firwood Waterloo Ladies on Saturday in their league opener. “To be involved in the new Tyrrells Premier 15s competition is a fantastic opportunity for the club and for the players to be part of such a new exciting era of domestic women’s rugby. All the hard work has gone on behind the scenes, on and off the pitch, and now we all can’t wait to get out there and test ourselves against old and new acquaintances this coming year, enjoying a few more road trips and welcoming new teams to Allianz Park.”
“We’ve really been challenging the players during this preseason block and they’ve all stepped up, working hard but also having lots of fun doing it,” said Cain.
“We have just come out of a really intense contact block and it’s great to see the detail they have worked on is staying true under pressure.”
The squad recently returned to France to play Top 8 side Stade Rennais as part of their preparation which Cain believes was an invaluable experience for the group. “Heading overseas to play is a great opportunity. We still have such a young squad and it exposes them to different challenges which they’ve got to adapt to. We knew that there would be an excitable home crowd and a very physical Stade Rennais side and they didn’t disappoint. It was positive to see new players and combinations in action and for the players to enjoy time away from rugby together.”
Cain is excited with how his squad is shaping up for the new season with a mix of youth and experience set to take to the turf of Allianz Park. “We’ve retained our playing group from last year and also have several players returning from both injury and sevens contracts. Georgie Gulliver, May Campbell, Harriet Austin, Elle Perry, Lauren Cattell and our freshly appointed skipper Lotte Clapp were all missed last season and I know they want to make big impressions in the new league.
“We have signed some of the best young talent in Hannah Botterman, Rosanna Moynihan, Helena Rowland and Ella Wyrwas to name a few and also welcome Valerie Federighi who featured in the recent World Cup for Italy.”
There have also been new faces behind the scenes with coach Jack Baird joining the backroom staff.
“Jack has great pedigree in player development and I am really excited to work with him alongside the rest of the coaching team to push our inner competition within the squad.”
And what can we expect from the Women in Black this season?
“A more streetwise version of ourselves from last year. We aim to be adopt a more ruthless approach to match our attacking mindset with a hungrier group whose confidence in their ability has improved, with points to prove. This has been a great preseason and I am really excited to see how far we can go together – new, young, senior or existing – everyone’s been working hard to push each other.”
Saracens Women face Firwood Waterloo Ladies in Round 1 of the Tyrrells Premier 15s on Saturday 16th September at The Memorial Ground, 14h30 kick off.