2011 Aviva Premiership champions Saracens FC signaled their intentions of reclaiming the title once again putting on a scintillating display of attacking rugby to thrash the London Irish 40-3 in the opening day double header of the new season of English domestic rugby at Twickenham.
It is being presumed that the arrival of England international Chris Ashton as well as pre-season beach volleyball sessions to the Adriatic Coast of Italy triggered the new attacking outlook of the side, as the side put on a swashbuckling display of offence.
Ashton himself was busy throughout his debut for the club and the England international was even booked for his over enthusiasm for an illegal shoulder barge. He did manage two tries and two assists as well on his first run out for the club, capping off a wonderful evening for the team from London. The arrival of Ashton from fellow Aviva Premiership Rugby Union side the Northampton Saints is one reason that Saracens FC is talking about the expansion of their disciplined defensive approach to the game that was the backbone in their title winning season of 2010/11.
The opening up of new horizons for the club also seems to be aided by the few days they spent on the beach in Italy which was followed by a friendly match against Treviso. And one person who has really benefitted from this experience is Brad Barritt, who scored a touchdown for his side in their rout of The Exiles.
According to the England centre, playing volleyball on the beach made the players understand the skills a crossover sport is able to bring. Barritt is also delighted with the arrival of Ashton and hopes that he and Ashton can strike up a partnership and lead Saracens FC to a second Aviva Premiership crown in 2013.