Charlie Hodgson says his Saracens side are excited to try and transfer their domestic form into the European Champions Cup ahead of their opening fixture against Clermont (Match Betting – Saracens 4/, draw 22/1, Clermont 7/4).
Mark McCall’s men made the final of the tournament in its previous guise of the Heineken Cup last year, eventually going down to Toulon in May in Cardiff.
Sarries (9/1 – European Champions Cup Outright) defeated Saturday’s opponents in the last four and will be eyeing a similar result at the weekend as they look to get off to a good start in a competitive Pool 1 which also involves Munster and Sale.
After missing out in both the European final and the Premiership showpiece last term, the Hendon-based club could have been forgiven for having a slow start this season but that has not been the case as they currently occupy second in the table thanks to five wins from six matches.
An injury to Owen Farrell has given Hodgson a rare run in the team at fly-half and the former England man has impressed, demonstrating the full range of skills that saw him previously rated as one of the country’s finest number 10s.
The 33-year-old admits his side have enjoyed themselves so far this term and are now hoping to show they are ready for another assault on Europe when they host Les Jaunards on Saturday.
“Up to now we’ve had the Premiership at the forefront of our minds, but we are excited about playing in Europe once again,” Hodgson said.
“It’s a competition everyone wants to win. We were so close last year and it would be fantastic to go one step further.
“It all starts this Saturday against Clermont at home. It’s nice to start at Allianz Park for the first game, but we have a long way to go.”