Planet Rugby

Pool draw thrills McCall

11th June 2014 13:03

Share:

Mark McCall Saracens director of rugby

Excited: Mark McCall

Saracens boss Mark McCall is excited by his side's Champions Cup Pool draw, where they face Munster, Sale Sharks and Clermont.

The Heineken Cup's replacement purports to place greater emphasis on meritocracy, styling itself as the crème de la crème of the pan-European game.

It has certainly delivered a set of mouth-watering - and fiendishly hard to predict - pool fixtures, with no short supply of quality sides.

McCall's men, runners-up in both the final European tournament under the old format and the Premiership, will take on Clermont, who they smashed in this year's semi-final, domestic rivals Sale and Pro12 big guns Munster. Having contested two finals in 2014, Saracens will have good odds to make the knock-outs stages again.

"Playing in Europe you expect to come up against the best teams and I feel that we've got that," said McCall.

"Three of the teams in the group have been in the semi-finals for the last two seasons, so it's a group that is going to be ridiculously tough but incredibly exciting."

Though Saracens destroyed Clermont at Twickenham in this year's last four, McCall reads nothing into the future clash.

"Things can move quite quickly in rugby," added McCall.

"In Munster's case they have changed their coaching staff for this season bringing in Anthony Foley who is a Munster man through and through, and has been part of some of their legendary exploits in Europe.

"Clermont have also changed personnel, with Vern Cotter moving on to Scotland, so they will be different.

"Next season's starting to take shape now after the draw. We'll find out our schedule in due course when the Premiership fixtures are announced, we've got all our plans in place.

"The players are on a well-earned break at the moment but all of sudden with the European draw it's starting to whet the appetite."

  • Aviva Prem Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
Saturday , September 13
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39