Elliot Daly remembers the top of pubs during the Saracen scandal ahead of the Premiership Final

With the Saracens 80 minutes after buying the Premiership, Elliot Daly is reminiscent of the top of the pub during a scandal where top stars have promised to “lead the club back to the great times”

  • Saracens were kicked out of the Premiership for exceeding the salary limit
  • But the culture remains strong and they are on the verge of winning the title
  • Mark McCall’s side will face Leicester in Saturday’s final in Twickenham
  • Elliot Daly opened up at a pub game in 2020
  • He remembered how the older stars had promised to lead the band back to glory

The Saracens’ attempt to turn from sinners into Premiership winners started in the pub and is now only 80 minutes from its end.

The side face of Mark McCall of Leicester in Saturday’s final at Twickenham, knowing what will be England’s sixth title in the top division is at hand.

The Saracens were shocked to fall into the championship for breaking 2020 salary cap rules, but in their first season in the top tier, they returned in style.

Elliot Daly was one of the great names that stayed and helped the Saracens go back to the great times

Elliot Daly was one of the great names that stayed and helped the Saracens go back to the great times

“It was a very strange and difficult time,” Elliot Daly told center about his team breaking the rules.

“There was a lot of grumbling about what was going to happen and how many points would be taken from us. We met at the pub when it all started.

“All the older players were there and we were sitting in the room.

“At first we didn’t know what to say because it was a really tough situation and we realized we had to bring the club back into place.”

The Wicked Lady near Harpenden hosted the 2020 Saracen Summit, where English stars of the club – including Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje – pledged not to jump off the ship.

Owen Farrell (right) will try to organize a victory for Mark McCall's men on Saturday

Owen Farrell (right) will try to organize a victory for Mark McCall’s men on Saturday

After a season in the second division which started with a humiliating defeat to the Cornish Pirates, the Saracens have recovered this season.

“We all decided we would stay,” Daly added. “After this conversation, we all believed and said we were restoring us.

“You appreciate that not everything can go your way. The best thing that probably happened to us was that we lost the first leg. It was one of those reasons.

“The way we came back to the Premiership, started the year and continued it is a testament to everyone at Saracens.

“It would be easy to finish fourth or fifth or lose in the semi-finals this year and say,” We were in the championship last year, “but that is not what this club is about.

“We want to compete on the big stages and now we’re going back there.

England’s lock Itoje will be a key figure for the Saracens in their game against Leicester, and as one of the game’s biggest stars, he has admitted feeling responsible for helping rugby gain popularity.

Premiership Rugby president Simon Massie-Taylor has revealed that the league can deal with picking up the final – his show match – away from Twickenham.

Second row superstar Itoje said: “The traditionalist inside me likes being at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, but if there are ways we can make this a bigger fan show and a more enjoyable viewing experience, I would be all for it.

“If this is the direction that rugby is going to go, then we definitely need more pressure.

“If you had to compare it (the Premiership final) with other major sporting events – the Champions League final, Monaco or the Miami Grand Prix – these are events people don’t want to miss.

Maro Itoje wants the Premiership Final to be a fun show

Maro Itoje wants the Premiership Final to be a fun show

“I’m sure Twickenham will sell out with loads of people, but mostly rugby fans will be there. The difference between this and some of the other events I have talked about is that they are events that ordinary people or sports fans don’t want to miss.

“They want to be there, see what it is like and feel the atmosphere, the experience. This is the challenge of these great rugby events – to change it.

“Rugby fans will always be there and be important, and we can’t do anything without our rugby fans, so they always have to be served. But we want it to be a spectacle in which the common man doesn’t want to miss it. The Premiership Final should be the biggest event in town.

When asked if he felt obligated to help with this, Itoje replied, “I don’t know if I feel obligated, but as a player in the game it may be a responsibility.

“The game grew before I picked up the ball and I hope it will continue to grow now and in the future. Hope that’s the plan.

“As one of the current stick-holders, it is probably our responsibility to develop the game in any way possible.”

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