Richard Wigglesworth: England defeat in Dublin won’t affect Saracens
Saracens must visit unhappy hunting ground for English teams in club and national colours
Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall and Brad Barritt (left) during the Captain’s Run at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Richard Wigglesworth insists Saracens will not be fooled into believing England’s ambush in Dublin last month has any influence on Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final against Munster.
Eddie Jones’ men travelled to the Aviva Stadium on the final day of the Six Nations last month in search of back-to-back Grand Slams only to be comprehensively outplayed by Ireland.
Wasps fell to Leinster in the same arena a fortnight later despite claiming to have drawn on the experience of their England contingent in their quest for passage into the last four.
Now it is Saracens who must visit an unhappy hunting ground for English teams wearing club and national colours and Wigglesworth insists his double winners will look inwards to their own exploits for pointers on how to succeed where Wasps and England failed.
“First of all there’s no way a club team can learn from what an international team did. I thought that was a mistake on what they (Wasps) were talking about,” scrum-half Wigglesworth said
“We’re a different side who play a different way to England, playing against a Munster team who play a different way to Ireland.
“I wouldn’t get bogged down in thinking that England game means anything in terms of what we’re about to do.
“We’ve played a lot of knock-out rugby and we’ve proved reasonably successful at it over the last few years.
“We’ve got a lot of experience of losing and winning so we feel we know what it’s all about.
“I’m definitely not worried about what other teams may have done in the past. This is a Saracens team I’m hugely proud to be involved in.
“I’m confident that, win or lose, we’ll have put it all on the line. We won’t be losing because of what other teams have done.”
Munster have been driven into the semi-finals by emotion following the death of their coach Anthony Foley earlier in the season, but Wigglesworth says Saracens will embrace the ferocity that awaits in the Irish capital.
“I’m sure this will be an extremely passionate crowd that will drive them on. We have to know that’s coming, respect it and deal with it,” he said.
“But we’re a bunch of lads who enjoy an atmosphere. I’d much rather go to a place where there are 50,000 people screaming for the other team than a semi-final where there’s 20,000.
“This is where you want to be. You want to test yourself in these sorts of atmospheres against these sorts of players.
“If they come out on the right end of the result, which is quite possible because they’re an outstanding team, we’ll applaud them and say well done but we’ll make sure it’s not through us losing our composure or being over-awed by the occasion.”