Vunipola believes that Saracens can still improve

By Dominique Stafford in Rugby

BILLY VUNIPOLA has warned Saracens’ domestic and European rivals that the side are still determined to keep on improving despite their remarkable success over the past two years.

Last weekend saw Sarries defend the European Champions Cup with a 28-17 victory over Clermont Auvergne in a thrilling final, while the side will look to stay on track to do a second

successive double when they make the trip to Exeter in the semi-finals of the Aviva Premiership play-offs on Saturday (2.30pm).

And number eight Vunipola, who was named man of the match in the European final, insists the players still have a lot left that they want to achieve.

He said: “I think we are a good team – we’ve won two European Cups which is no mean feat – and we have a big game next week which we’re looking forward to. But a great team is Barcelona, a team that wins everything – we’re striving towards that.

“If we win the Premiership too it will give us an opportunity of stepping up the ladder to greatness, but we still have a lot of work to do before I feel comfortable saying we’re a great team.

“It’s strange because I never thought we’d be here again, but it’s an amazing feeling. As a team we’re pretty out there and we want to win next week and hopefully push on to the Premiership final. We don’t want to say we’re the best team and then miss out next week.

“This year has been a bit unorthodox with the way we’ve done things, with boys getting injured and everybody writing us off, but the boys showed fight and determination to get back to the final again and then push it over the line.”

Vunipola is one of a number of key players who have spent long periods on the sidelines this season through injury, and he is delighted with the way the team has battled through adversity to once again be challenging for – and winning – silverware at the business end of the campaign.

He added: “Our coach Mark McCall said to us at the start of the season that the potential was there for us to be better than last year, it’s just whether we were willing to fight for it.

“It just shows how hungry we are because it was tougher this year. At certain times we didn’t have our whole team, but we dealt with it amazingly well and that’s testament to the group we have. It’s just a great thing to be part of.

“I’m just happy to be involved with such an amazing team. We have a massive game next week and we need to recover, focus and then get back into it.”

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