Sarries, who are chasing a third successive European title, know the value of a fast start and it has not been lost on the Premiership champions, the Chiefs
There is no debate over Europe in rugby union. Everyone wants to be in and for the British teams who fail to make the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup, the tournament will end in Brexit tears. The debate over exit strategies will revolve around how to get out of trouble against Saracens, who are aiming to emulate Toulon by winning the tournament for a third successive season. Mark McCall’s side start next Sunday against Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens, a ground where they have not lost in the Premiership since 2013, and they will arrive armed with the boost of a 55-point haul against the Saints at Twickenham last month.
In the first round last season Saracens stunned Toulon with their pace, power and precision at the Stade Félix Mayol and inflicted a first home defeat in the competition on the team they had succeeded as champions the season before. For all the talk at the tournament launches about the need to win at home and pick up at least a bonus point away, Saracens have learned the value of a fast start.