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Chris Wyles insists Saracens are stronger this season and ready to compete for silverware on all fronts
Saracens full-back Chris Wyles has warned the club’s rivals that the Men in Black are stronger than last year and capable of competing on all fronts this season.
Sarries get their Premiership campaign underway on Saturday against London Irish at Twickenham which is the first game of two in the league’s annual London Double Header.
Five new players have been added to the Saracens armoury - Billy Vunipola, James Johnston, Tim Streather, Richard Barrington and Michael Tagicakibau - as the Men in Black look to avenge last season’s shock defeat to Northampton Saints in the play-off semi-finals.
"We want to use that defeat as a motivation but it’s also a new season - we’ve made some great additions and we’re ready and really looking forward to the London Irish game now," Wyles said.
"The squad is definitely stronger this season and everyone is excited to get off to a good start.
"Every season in the Heineken Cup and the league we’re pushing further and further. Obviously we’re not happy losing in the semi-final but we’re building and we feel we’ve got a squad that can compete in all the competitions on all fronts this season."
Sarries were also knocked out of the Heineken Cup in the last four, losing to eventual winners Toulon, but Wyles believes the squad’s greater depth and variety can make all the difference this term.
"All the new players bring something completely different to the group," Wyles said.
"There’s guys like Billy [Vunipola] and James [Johnston] who add power on one side and then we’ve got penetrative guys too like Tim [Streather] and Mikey Tagicakibau coming back, who was great for us in the season we won the Premiership.
"Billy’s a big ball carrier and should make a big impact for us and Tim has really impressed in pre-season with his footwork and ability to beat a man.
"We’ve got different guys coming in and doing different things so we’ve got a really strong squad."
Saracens recorded two comprehensive victories in pre-season, first beating Cornish Pirates 61-3 before seeing off Bedford Blues 71-12.
The London Irish match at Twickenham is officially classed as an away fixture for Saracens, who can also look forward to their first full season at their new Allianz Park home starting against Gloucester on September 15.
"There’s been a lot of talk about us moving forward as a club and having our own stadium is a massive part of that," Wyles added.
"We love playing here and training here and we want to build a great atmosphere around this stadium this season.
"For now though our focus is on London Irish which is always a tough game. We want to start the season on a high - it’s at Twickenham and you couldn’t ask for a better place to start a season than the home of English rugby. We’re looking forward to it."
London Irish finished ninth last season and have been weakened by some key departures over the summer including Alex Corbisiero who joined Northampton and Jonathan Joseph who signed for Bath.
Saracens beat the Exiles 40-3 in the same opening fixture last season.
Chris Wyles was talking at the launch party of the squad's new bespoke suits from Apsley of Pall Mall.
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