Rugby Union

Exclusive: Saracens skipper primed for new season

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Saracens captain Steve Borthwick is ready and raring to go ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season.

The 33-year-old lock is set to embark on his 16th campaign at the highest level of English club rugby, and his sixth with Sarries following a move from Bath back in 2008.

And, following the disappointment of last season's double semi-final defeat, the former England international is full of optimism after a pre-season campaign that has gone according to plan.

"Preparations are going really well. New players have joined the squad, both experienced players from outside and young players through the Saracens system, and they’ve integrated really well," he told GiveMeSport at the Aviva Premiership launch at Twickenham.

"International players have come back and Lions players have come back – it’s great to have them back in the group once again and bringing an exuberance that comes following tours that have been successful for many of them."

Saracens topped the Aviva Premiership table at the end of last season, but lost to fourth-placed Northampton Saints in an upset at Allianz Park.

Mark McCall's side also lost to Toulon in the last four of the Heineken Cup, with Jonny Wilkinson kicking the French side to victory at Twickenham.

Both matches were decided by small margins in the mind of Borthwick, and he's confident Sarries will come back better this season after reviewing the season as a whole, and not just the painstaking defeats.

"There were lots of big games that went very well last season. Obviously we lost two semi-finals, and these games were decided by small margins," he continued.

"So, it’s important that we go back, look at the tape and see what we can do better. We review the season as a whole, positives and negatives, and then come back stronger this season.

"Every experience is a learning curve, either winning or losing. It’s important that you learn when you win, almost as much as when you lose. We need to ensure that these moments make us a better team."

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