McCall hails ‘high class’ Strettle


Published: Saturday 18th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall saluted Chris Ashton and David Strettle after the England wings plundered four tries in Saturday’s 30-23 Champions Cup victory over Clermont.

The pair crossed two times each in a desperately tight Pool One clash at Allianz Park that was ultimately decided by Ashton’s 63rd-minute poacher’s score.

Strettle’s finishes were superbly taken and the 31-year-old can have done little more to argue his case for inclusion in England’s squad for the autumn’s QBE Series.

“The two of them have been in outstanding form for quite some time now, not just this season but the last 18 months as well,” McCall said.

“It all depends on what England want to do – do they want to go with youth or experience?

“But either way, it would be hard to find two better finishes than David Strettle’s against Clermont. They were high, high class.

“Chris’ tries were the reward for his persistence. He made his own luck for that second try.”

Charlie Hodgson was named man of the match, finishing with 10 points and pulling the strings superbly, but it was the 33-year-old’s half-back partner Richard Wigglesworth who really caught McCall’s eye.

“Charlie’s been good all season and was good again, one of many,” McCall said.

“Richard Wigglesworth was outstanding. What he did for the second try was brilliant

“From our end he is definitely the form scrum-half in England. Hopefully Stuart Lancaster and his coaches agree with that.”

McCall was delighted with the bonus-point victory against Top 14 pacesetters Clermont.

“What really impressed me was our reliance. We showed energy and intensity against a really good team,” McCall said.

“Clermont are the best team that we’ve played all season. We’re delighted to have come away with the win and given ourselves a good start in this competition.

“They scored a wonderful try through Zac Guildford but we responded immediately to that try and that’s what you expect from this team.”

Published: Saturday 18th October 2014 by The News Editor

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