SARACENS JUST ONE WIN AWAY

Having already spent a very good week, the players of Saracens FC are looking forward to their Heineken European Cup match against French side Biarritz, knowing that a win against them would secure a place for them in the eight team play-offs with a game in hand.

In turn this would mean that chief coach Mark McCall will be able to field a weakened side and rest the seniors for their next game.

Moreover, a win at Vicarage Road at Watford would also mean that the champions of England will stretched their winning streak against Biarritz to three games, the first of which came in 2005 thanks to an astonishing drop goal.

The Wolf Pack had most of its players holidaying in Cape Town, South Africa, away from the bitter English cold. The win against Biarritz would go a long way in securing the legacy of Saracens FC, which was long seen as the perennial under achievers of the British rugby scene. However, when the rugby union in England went professional, The Men in Black pioneered merchandising and marketing and signed players who were seen as legends of the game but had, till late in the decade nothing to show for it.

Edward Griffiths, the man currently running the club for the last four years has been responsible for transforming the club from mid-table strugglers to contenders, just as he did during his spell with the South African Rugby Union team back in the 1990s and this achievement of the club of late is being as a success for the man as well.

Griffiths is hoping that his side can win the midweek match against the much weakened Biarritz side and in a way, give the players a chance to concentrate on the Premiership that Saracens FC are looking to bring home for the second season running.

HODGSON FOR ENGLAND

The thought of Charlie Hodgson in an England jersey is not a new one. But every time the Sarries fly half was given the chance during his time at Sale, he seemingly choked on the big stage.

This season he has, along with the rest of his Saracens team mates, impressed regularly. Saracens sit second in the league and are closing the gap of Harlequins each week.

Hodgson is one of a number of players to have given a good enough account of himself playing for Saracens to warrant a call up to England’s team, and is already one of the favourites to captain England on the Betfair Six Nations Betting markets. If Hodgson is called up, he is confident of performing in a much more convincing manner to his previous appearances for England.

Since being exposed defensively against New Zealand in 2008 he has seemingly not had a look in for England, very much being at best third choice behind Wilkinson and Flood in the running for the number 10 jersey. But Wilkinson’s retirement and Flood’s injury worries have opened the door to an invigorated Hodgson.

He has settled well at Saracens and the chance to be called up alongside his club teammates for England would surely help him to finally flourish for England. It would be hoped he could replicate the moments of magic he and (former Sale team mate) Mark Cueto managed when linking up for England with his new back partner at Saracens, Owen Farrell. Both have impressed so far in the Betfair Heineken Cup 2012, and are expected to do great things together.

Farrell is seen as having a huge part to play in the future of English Rugby and surely the familiar sight of Charlie Hodgson inside him will help him to settle in the set up.

This would appear to be the role Hodgson could play. At 31 he is unlikely to be around in 2015 but in this transitional period for England he could play a significant role, starting with Scotland in February.