Mallinder up for Sarries challenge

Date published: April 7 2016

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder is looking forward to the challenge of facing Saracens in their Champions Cup quarter-final.

Saints will head into Saturday's game at Allianz Park as underdogs after their loss at Wasps last week, while their hosts are in superb form.

The Premiership league leaders are unbeaten in Europe this season after a perfect six wins from six record in the pool stages, hence why Saints boss Mallinder knows his men will face a difficult task if they are to shock the Champions Cup favourites on their home patch.

"Their key leaders are all playing well. I don't think I need to name names for people to know who I'm talking about," he told EPC Rugby.

"They're playing very well. They did lose a few games over the Six Nations, where they didn't have players available to them, but they've got those back now. They're a very well-coached and difficult side to beat. We look forward to those sort of challenges."

Saracens have also developed a fortress at Allianz Park, knowing their home surroundings well, and that's something Mallinder is aware of.

"The conditions are never easy down there, so sometimes you have the difficulty of what you do playing into the wind and then what you do with it," he added.

"Saracens have got this gameplan which they play very well. It's not as simple as kick-chase, but when they do kick they chase very well. Once they get in behind you they're a difficult side to stop."