Jamie George says Saracens are ready to rise to the occasion as the ‘massively impressive’ St James’ Park
PUBLISHED: 16:32 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:32 10 May 2019
Jamie George says Saracens are in tip-top shape ahead of their Heineken Cup final with Leinster – but he is still taking nothing for granted.
Aside from the injury to Michael Rhodes, scorer of the first try in Sarries' victory over Munster in the semi-final, the Men in Black have arrived with all their big hitters in perfect health.
And the Welwyn Garden City-born England hooker believes that has given a boost to the entire camp.
He said: "There's certainly a good sense within the team. We've built some really good momentum over the last year really and we've learned a huge amount from our loss to Leinster [in the quarter-finals] last year.
"We are in great condition and we've had some good performances in the quarter-final and semi-final but we're fully aware we need to take it up another level if we want to be beat them.
"It's a challenge that this team are more than ready for."
Skipper Brad Barritt was in total agreement, admitting the occasion itself will be more than enough to get the adrenalin pumping.
"In terms of playing in the European Cup you don't need any further motivation," he admitted.
"It's the pinnacle of club rugby and its something we really eager to be successful in.
"To get to the final is very satisfying but there is still a huge game to be played."
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And he says preparations this week have gone well, even if it was a case of the same old routine.
He said: "Typically we try and keep our formula quite simple, no matter what the occasion.
"What we've achieved this week in terms of the feeling for the game and the preparation has been spot on.
"There's been nothing over the top or different to what we usually do."
The match brings the two teams to a town and a stadium that while having seen its fair share of big rugby matches, is still staunchly a football-mad area.
But George who has seen his fair share of big stadia, is itching to sample the famed Geordie atmosphere.
"It's massively impressive stadium and being a football fan it's pretty cool to be up here," he said with a smile.
"We'll get a sense of the atmosphere watching the game tonight but then we're hugely excited to play in what's expected to be a sell-out tomorrow.
"It's going to be a great occasion as it should be.
"We're aware of the history and how special it is to be playing here in a European final.
"Playing it in England means a lot to us but we just need to take the outside influences away from us as best as we can and focus on ourselves and how good we need to be tomorrow."