‘They are a great advert for English rugby’: David Flatman praises Vunipola brothers and Saracens squad

As Saracens prepare to mount their title defence in little under two months time, former prop David Flatman insists that with some of English rugby’s finest on their books, the challenge awaits other sides to knock them off their perch at the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Flatman made 73 appearances during his five-year spell with Saracens, and after seeing out the rest of his career with Bath, is now heavily involved with punditry and media work.

But that doesn’t stop the ex-England international getting down to Allianz Park at every opportunity possible, admitting he loves nothing more than watching his former side run rings around the opposition.

And following on from a stellar season with saw them crowned both Premiership and European champions, Flatman insists that with the likes of the Vunipola brothers in their ranks, the future looks very bright indeed for Mark McCall’s men.

“When I think of the Premiership, the two things I think of first are Saracens and how they are labelled with being a boring team to watch, but I am just not having it,” said Flatman, who was speaking at the SSE Next Generation roadshow in Cardiff.

“I think they are a fantastic team to watch, I watch them all the time, they score loads of points and they score loads of good tries.

“They don’t play a huge amount of rugby in their own half but that’s why they win everything.

“They have got some brilliant players who they have developed. Mako Vunipola is fabulous for them, as well as Billy.

“Then obviously Maro Itoje and George Kruis, who are an absolute joke of a second row, they don’t get tired, they don’t make mistakes, they are just fantastic players.

“Whatever world class means, they are world class. They are among the best lock pairings on the planet.

“They just have a proper craic, but when it comes to business time they are the best, they are a great advert for English rugby.”

The new Aviva Premiership season kicks off on September 2, with Saracens set to welcome Worcester Warriors to Twickenham the following day.

Sarries did the double over the Warriors last season, winning 48-18 and 43-19 home and away respectively, and will be hoping to ignite their season as defending champions with victory once more.

And as the league enters its 29th year, Flatman insists that despite its critics, there really is no better competition in club rugby.

“The Premiership is dominating, it is funny the way it goes, one year you will have two Irish teams and two French teams in the European semi-finals and everyone is saying the Premiership is done and dusted, it’s all over, why can’t we compete?” he said.

“Then a year later there are no Irish leagues and people are questioning that, it’s funny how it’s quite cyclical and people tend to get a bit emotional and reactive about these things.

“But the Premiership has been in good nick for a long time, and it is in especially good nick now.”

SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen

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