Owen Farrell issues Saracens rallying cry to end inconsistency in Premiership title bid

Owen Farrell issues Saracens rallying cry to end inconsistency in Premiership title bid

Owen Farrell has vowed that Saracens can end the consistent inconsistency of an erratic season and defend their Gallagher Premiership title the hard way.

Reigning champions Saracens had to grind into the top four, slipping to a 20-10 defeat by Sale that has set up an away semi-final at table-topping Northampton Saints on Friday night.

Saracens missed the chance to seal the big advantage of a home semi-final by losing out to Sale but will still head to the East Midlands with total confidence of victory.

Captain and talisman Farrell revealed a new mood of determination in the Saracens air, as the Men In Black look for a seventh Premiership title.

Saracens might have lost seven of 18 regular-season league games, but still few would bet against them swiping another title, with Farrell determined to add a magnificent seventh triumph before moving to Racing 92 this summer.

“We’ve been consistently inconsistent over the course of the year,” said Farrell, the 112-cap former England captain.

“But we’ve just about been consistent enough with it to get to this week. And I think there’s been a bit of a change in mindset in the last two weeks. There’s been a real hunger to get it right – and we’ve only got to get it right twice now.

“We want to get it right this weekend at Northampton, and deal with the good and the bad. A big part of consistency is the ability to deal with what comes your way, which we both have and haven’t done this year.

Owen Farrell has called on Saracens to end their inconsistent form (Action Images)
Owen Farrell has called on Saracens to end their inconsistent form (Action Images)

“Finishing fourth has been different from previous years, but we’re in the place we’re in now, and we’re excited to get into Friday night.”

Farrell will leave sole club Saracens for French giants Racing this summer, making a big change for himself and his family. The 32-year-old has brought his glittering England career to a close, but could yet feature for the Lions on their 2025 tour to Australia.

Before all that though, he is itching to sign off at Saracens with seven league titles and three European crowns.

Former Saracens captain and England centre Brad Barritt dropped into the club’s Old Albanians training base on Tuesday, handing everyone a big lift.

The full squad gave him a raucous standing ovation when he walked into the team room, as Saracens admitted to feeling the big-game atmosphere start to build nicely. Barritt helped Saracens to four of their six Premiership triumphs, and every time he returns to the club there is a buzz in the air.

Farrell’s summer departure will represent the end of a Saracens era, especially with Billy and Mako Vunipola also leaving for France. Rugby director Mark McCall admitted seeing Farrell step up the intensity levels this week, which has been reflected across the Saracens squad.

“We are going to have to be at a very high level, which we have done a few times this year: anything else won’t be good enough,” said McCall, of the challenge facing Saracens at Saints.

“Owen leads by example on the field for sure, but day to day here people listen when he speaks and there is a difference in weeks like this about him and his focus on it.

“Everyone can tell he is at it and on it, and he makes everyone feel good. We had two great leaders here with Brad Barritt here today as well. He is one of the great leaders of this club and we have been lucky to have those two as captains.”