Planet Rugby

Wyles delighted by Allianz Park

19th March 2013 12:14


chris wyles jpm7s saracens

Settled: Chris Wyles

Saracens full-back Chris Wyles has praised the club's new home at Allianz Park ahead of welcoming Harlequins this weekend.

The 2011 Aviva Premiership champions made the move to their new home earlier in the year from Vicarage Road and have settled in well, winning all three of their home matches so far against Cardiff Blues, Exeter Chiefs and London Welsh.

"We've been here now just under a month and I've personally played a couple of games here," said Wyles.

"It's a fantastic event really now - 10,000 people, sold out crowds, the artificial pitch which creates a faster game and there's a better atmosphere, so it's looking good.

"The bounce of the ball on the artificial surface is pretty true. The biggest compliment you can really pay to it is that after five minutes, you forget you're on an artificial pitch. Having a faster game is good for players and fans."

Saracens will welcome back England stars Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Alex Goode from international duty against, after their heavy defeat against Wales in the Six Nations. In their time away, Saracens have moved top of the Aviva Premiership table, with Wyles praising the depth of his side's squad.

It was a tough loss, but Wales played really well," added Wyles.

"You'd be silly to say that the players won't be hurting, but actually it will make them more determined to come back to Saracens with a bang, which would mean silverware. These are guys who are at the top of their game and mentally strong, so I'm sure they'll come back and great straight back into it.

"Given that the England players have been away, it's shown the quality of our squad to consolidate our spot in the top four and also move to the top of the table.

"It's fantastic and shows that we're in a healthy position as a squad, but we have some huge games coming up - Harlequins at home next week and then the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster."

London rivals Harlequins will arrive at Allianz Park with their own contingent of Test stars in tow, including England captain Chris Robshaw, after the younger members of the 2012 champions squad picked up the LV= Cup trophy last weekend against Sale Sharks.

"They've shown they have great depth in their squad winning both the 'A' League and LV= Cup, so the timing of this game is interesting," stated Wyles.

"All the England players will be back for both sides and it will give a good indication of where each team is at. Let's be honest about it, it's one versus two and it's going to be a huge game."

Saracens will then host Ulster in the Heineken Cup quarter-final at Twickenham, looking to make amends after their exit last season at the same stage to Clermont Auvergne.

"As a player, I love playing at Twickenham - it's just a great ground," stated Wyles.

"Having said that it would have been good to have played here at Allianz Park, but it's not a bad alternative."

However Saracens fare over the remainder of the season, Wyles will be eager to play his part in the the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s ahead of next season after twice previously featuring in the tournament.

"I've played in it twice now and just think 7s is a great tool for players to develop their skills and impress their coaches. There is nowhere to hide in 7s and it's a great platform for the young players to push for places in the England setup."

by Ben Coles

The J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 1st August at Gloucester with rounds at Franklin Gardens and Allianz Park and the Final at The Recreation Ground. For tickets and more information visit: or follow @jpmorganrugby7s

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