Saracens will face their toughest challenge to date next season due to the impact the Rugby World Cup will have the squad, according to star full-back Alex Goode.

The latest edition of the global event begins next month in Japan and will see international teams from all over the world go head-to-head to win the famous Webb Ellis Cup.

And with eight players in England’s final 31-man travelling squad alone, the reigning European and Premiership champions will be significantly weakened when the new season begins.

But rather than rue the misfortune of having so many of their players unavailable, Goode believes it presents a perfect opportunity to test the club’s strength in depth in the top flight.

“I think with Saracens our goals are talked about in a very bullish way, we expect to win, we’ve got the squad, we’ve got the capabilities and we know this year will be the hardest yet,” he said.

“We have about 12 or 13 players at the World Cup and that’s very tough for any squad in the world, so we’re going to have to really dig deep with our resources.

“Senior players like myself are going to have to step up even more and it’s going to be a massive challenge, but we haven’t spoken about it because we know that we have high standards.

“We expect to be fighting on all fronts and this is where the younger players at the club get a chance to step up after getting game time in the cup competitions.

“This is the whole planning process over the years, to give them a chance in the Premiership Rugby Cup and the A-league and then drip feed them in during the international period.

“They get more and more Premiership game experience and we saw towards the back end of last season against Worcester and against Exeter that they were unbelievable.”

The reigning European Player of the Year added: “The good news is we’ve got a lot of trust in our youth, we’ve got a lot of trust in those guys and we know they’ll be brilliant.”

Goode was speaking at the Guinness National Rugby Awards, which were created in 2015 and celebrate the best of rugby from grassroots to the very pinnacle of the game.

The awards, hosted at Twickenham Stadium, recognise clubs, players, coaches, volunteers, mini sections, supporters and many more people that make rugby the fabulous game it is.

And while the new Premiership season begins later this year due to the World Cup, Goode admits the Saracens players are already in the thick of a gruelling pre-season training routine.

“We’ve been back in training since July so unfortunately you go almost straight back into it, there’s not much rest, and it’s tough as pre-season is never easy,” he said.

“It takes a toll and this year is no different, in fact it’s even harder because the season starts in October but it’s not the end of the world to be able to give our bodies a rest.

“You don’t reflect too much in rugby, it’s always on to the next thing. I think if you reflect too much you go away from the fact that you’re winning things because of the hard work.

“I try not to look too far back as training is tough even though it’s good for you. Saying that not doing the contact of being hit every weekend, is good for our bodies and good for the welfare.

“I’m making sure I’m looking after myself and going into the new season in full health and in a really good position. Closer to the season I’ll set some personal individual goals.”

The Guinness National Rugby Awards recognises the outstanding work done by coaches, players and supporters across the country. There is no other event which brings together the clubs and players from all the leagues in England, from grassroots to elite.