Saracens skills coach Joe Shaw hailed lock Maro Itoje after the 20-year-old captained his side into the last four of the LV= Cup in a 35-18 victory over Exeter Chiefs.
Itoje, who appeared for England Saxons last week, put in a typically dynamic performance as Sarries sealed a home semi-final against Northampton Saints.
Tim Streather, Nick de Jager (2), Catalin Fercu and Matt Hankin all dotted down for the hosts, while Sam Skinner and Tom James briefly sparked a revival from Exeter.
Reigning champions Chiefs will now travel to Leicester Tigers for their semi-final clash as Shaw was left purring over Itoje’s performance.
“He’s huge for us,” said Shaw.
“The amazing thing about Maro is he talks incredibly well.
“He talks like a player far beyond his years but the main thing is he leads by example, people follow him because of what he does.
“He’s the heart and soul of the team and it was great to see the reaction he got from the crowd when he came off the field at the end.
“We’re incredibly lucky to have him and he’s got a fantastic future ahead.
“I think (the result) defines what this group is about. We score the two tries to go 14-0 up, they came back and led 18-14, and then we’ve pushed on and scored 20 points.”