Owen Farrell warns best of Alex Goode is yet to come as attacking Saracens challenge perceptions
Saracens trio Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Alex Goode could end the month with six Premiership titles to their names.
The decorated trio are the only Sarries players to have featured in all five of the club’s league triumphs to date.
Whatever the changes of the Barnet guard, those ever-present stalwarts seem destined to keep on keeping on – starting with Saracens’ ninth Premiership final against Sale on May 27.
However ominous for opponents, the sight of a swashbuckling 35-year-old Goode still improving soothes the sorest of English rugby eyes – and Farrell cannot find any reason for that to stop any time soon.
Club-record appearance holder Goode has signed a new deal to stay at Sarries beyond the summer, and Farrell is adamant the evergreen full-back can elevate his game still further.
“Alex has always been a massive part of what we’re doing, he’s always been someone when it comes to the big games at the end of the year, he’s always been a massive part of how we do things,” said Farrell.
“That’s no different at the minute, and I don’t see it being any different for a while with him. We’re lucky to have him. It certainly doesn’t look like he’s slowing down. He looks like his best stuff can still be ahead of him.
“So it’s about not standing in your own way as if you know everything, but going, exploring how good you can be and feeling like it’s fresh and new, which we have done a lot this year. And I guess that brings an energy and a life and an excitement to turning up every week.”
Saracens spent the summer recalibrating their attacking game after the frustrations of last season’s 15-12 Premiership final defeat by Leicester. Farrell was central to that process, sitting the squad down for summit meetings on the first day of pre-season.
The sum total has been an inexorable march to a first-place regular-season finish, before Saracens dispatched Northampton 38-15 in Saturday’s semi-final.
England and Lions stalwart Farrell insisted that Saracens have always looked to take the game to opponents, despite both this term’s expansion and opinions to the contrary being bandied around over the years.
“There was always a perception about us before, and rightly so at times, that we were this team that just strangled teams and kicked everything,” said Farrell.
“But if you go back, at the end of any year, we weren’t always. Some of the finals we have had against Exeter, Clermont, we really played rugby.
“People were talking as if we didn’t play rugby, as if we just kicked everything and used the driving maul. I don’t know how people thought we won games.
“We’ve always played rugby, we’ve just had patches of it during the season, of going back to fundamentals.
“So we’ve just been trying to bring more of the attacking game out, and the bits that we showed in the past have shown us that we were ready to do more of that.
“Parts of last year showed us that we can be better, and that’s all we’re trying to be, is better. It felt like we were ready.”