Saracens Rugby Union boss Brendan Venter has praised Steve Borthwick and new winger David Strettle and believes that they can prove decisive in the season. The pair rose from the bench to spark a Sarries victory on Sunday with the score tied at 13-13 against Sale.

Venter told BBC Three Counties Radio: “Brilliant, he [Strettle] was very good, excellent out there. “He’s just world class, but so is Steve Borthwick. He made a massive difference when he came on the field.”


Saracens were beaten by the London Irish in a match which ended 33-16. Ernst Joubert’s try opened the scoring for Sarries before Ryan Lamb kicked a penalty for the Exiles.

Schalk Brits muscled over before Lamb struck again just before half time.

Irish then came alive with tries from Delon Armitage, Sailosi Tagicakibau, a penalty try and Tospy Ojo to outscore Saracens 27-6 after the break.

In a game that saw four yellow cards – two on each side – Joubert crossed in the corner after some slick handling from Brits and Chris Wyles while Delon Armitage sat on the sidelines after a professional foul.

Alex Goode, who was starting the game at fly-half, missed with the conversion and it was to prove the opening act of a disappointing performance for one of Sarries’ star performers of last season.

Joubert provided the impetus for the second try with a penetrating break from the base of the scrum on Exiles’ 22 before Brits handed off Delon Armitage, just back on the field, to score. Goode again failed to add the extras.