Burger to be Sarries trump card
Flyhalf Owen Farrell believes that Namibian flank Jacques Burger can lead Saracens to European Cup glory in the final against Toulon.
Flyhalf Owen Farrell believes that Namibian flank Jacques Burger can lead Saracens to European Cup glory in the final against Toulon at the Millenium Stadium.
The 30-year-old produced a man-of-the-match effort of 27 tackles during Saracens' stunning 46-6 semifinal demolition of French club Clermont at Twickenham on Saturday.
Victory saw English Premiership leaders Saracens into their first European Cup Final, at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on May 24, where they will play defending champions Toulon.
Burger, a former Blue Bulls loose forward, was nearly forced into retirement by a chronic knee injury 18 months ago but that hasn't stopped him becoming a cornerstone of Saracens' aggressive 'wolf pack' defence.
Saracens scored six tries, including two for England wing Chris Ashton, against Clermont but it was their ferocious work without the ball which laid the platform for a crushing victory.
"I'm glad he's not tackling me," said Farrell.
"You talk about putting your body on the line, there's no one that does it more than him. He's mental to be fair, but he's a massive asset for us."
"When you see people hitting like that it makes you want to do it," the 22-year-old Farrell added.
"And it's not just that, I know if I was playing against him, you'd be looking for where he is all the time, because you wouldn't want him hitting you from the blindside.
"There were some overlaps that they had out there, and he got off the line and put some good pressure on people - and you can tell people know he's coming," he added.
Farrell recovered from a foot injury in time to take his place in a back division without the injured Charlie Hodgson, but Alex Goode took over kicking duties against Clermont.
England fullback Goode ensured an all but seamless transition, booting over 13 points at Twickenham.
"I've trained fully for two weeks, but I've not done as much kicking," Farrell explained.
"We made the decision the other day, but Alex kicked very well so ultimately it was fine.
"We'll enjoy this win, it's a big occasion for us, but we want to be used to this, we want to get better, and go on again and show what we can do in the final."