REACTION: Owen Farrell was adamant Saracens’ victory in the English Premiership Final at Twickenham on Saturday was just the start after guiding the London club to a 35-25 win over Sale.
Saracens’ sixth Premiership title came after they were beaten by Leicester in last season’s Final and was also their first major trophy since being relegated for salary-cap breaches in 2020.
England captain Farrell, named player of the match after an impressive all-round display, dismissed suggestions the club had “redeemed” themselves.
“I think what’s more important is how we’ve been all season,” said 31-year-old flyhalf, a veteran of 106 England caps.
“The difference that we made at the start of the year, the difference in raising our ceiling of where we can go.
“And, at this moment in time, regardless of how today [Saturday] went, it still feels like there is a lot for this young team now still to go.”
‘Best rugby of his life’
Saracens overcame a determined Sale at a sun-drenched Twickenham as well as an in-game injury crisis and environmental protesters, with the game briefly halted in the first half when a pair of Just Stop Oil activists ran on to the pitch to throw orange powder before being tackled by stewards.
Saracens scored a penalty try before Max Malins, Elliot Daly and Ivan van Zyl all crossed Sale’s tryline in a match where Farrell kicked 13 points.
And that was after Saracens lost Jamie George to a possible concussion and wing Sean Maitland to injury, with prop Mako Vunipola withdrawn from the bench ahead of kick-off.
Mark McCall, the long-serving Director of Rugby at Saracens, said skipper Farrell was playing the “best rugby of his life”.
“If you spent a week at our training ground, you wouldn’t believe just how influential he is, how clear he is with the playing group, how emotive he is, what standards he sets, how supportive he is to teammates young and old,” McCall said of Farrell.
“He’s playing the best rugby of his life at the moment but his leadership has gone to a whole new level.”
Sale, in their first Premiership final since being crowned champions in 2006, briefly went ahead in the third quarter thanks to tries by Tom Roebuck and Bevan Rodd before Saracens pulled clear.
“The odd fairytale does happen but rarely from my experience,” said Sale supremo Alex Sanderson.
“You’ve just got to be better at handling moments like the ones that occurred today and that takes experience.”