Alistair Hargreaves and Chris Ashton may not have played in Saracens’ Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat last season but the club’s two summer signings believe they have the squad to go all the way in the tournament this time around.

The Men in Black topped their group last year before bowing out 22-3 to Clermont Auvergne in the first round of the knock-out phase and the team are determined to bounce back this campaign.

Saracens take on Racing Metro in Brussels tomorrow and Hargreaves and Ashton, who both joined the club in the summer, believe Saracens can not only go further this year, but mount a genuine challenge for the trophy.

Hargreaves said: "There’s no doubt we have the capability of winning the competition in my opinion but it’s a step by step process.

"We just think about the next game and our focus is firmly on how we do in the group games and then if you make it to the knock-out phases you never know what can happen.

"We feel we have the personnel to definitely make a good go of it."

Ashton added: "Getting to the quarter-finals was a big step last year but the boys were disappointed with how it ended and they want to go a step further.

"I think we definitely have the squad to do it."

Sarries’ European mission began well against Edinburgh last weekend when the Men in Black won 45-0 and grabbed five tries.

Scores from Joel Tomkins, Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton, Alex Goode and Charlie Hodgson, who also kicked four penalties and four conversions, ensured Saracens got off to the perfect start with a bonus-point victory.