George hails 'Silent Assassin' McCall for Saracens trophy success

Twickenham (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Saracens go hunting an incredible eighth major trophy in as many years on Saturday with England hooker Jamie George outlining just why the man labelled the "Silent Assassin" is now the top target to be the successor to Eddie Jones as England head coach.

For so long, Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall remained firmly under the Rugby Football Union's radar when it came to possible candidates to step into the England hot seat.

However, as the search for Jones' successor intensifies, the softly spoken Northern Irishman is firmly in their sights having built such a special dynasty.

It may not be long before McCall gets an offer to lift him to the top international coaching stage.

The 51-year-old former Ireland back hopes to ensure Sarries are perfectly positioned to complete a second remarkable European and domestic double in three years -- having beaten Leinster in the Champions Cup final -- by defeating Exeter Chiefs.

George insists the only shock has been the lack of interest in luring McCall away from the club.

"It is surprising he doesn't get mentioned or linked with national jobs so much," said the 28-year-old hooker.

"He has a proven track record and also played Test rugby.

"When it gets to the rugby side of things he is a very intense man.

"Everyone calls him the silent assassin but he can shout a bit!

"He's the most competitive person I've ever come across, and that's infectious for us.

"He would be amazing if he stepped into an international role but I'm happy where he is and we will try and keep him here for now."

- 'We'd put it right' -

Saracens? bid for more glory on the field has not come without off the field problems with a further Premiership Rugby investigation into potential salary cap breeches dogging the club.

Chairman Nigel Wray has denied any wrong doing after Premiership Rugby, whose cap stands at £7million ($8.8million) per club excluding marquee players and other credits, announced Saracens had not disclosed the full extent of their business deals with players.

But as far as the likes of George, Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje are concerned, they are merely concerned with trying to win more trophies and build up to England's World Cup campaign in Japan.

"Winning is a habit and an enjoyable one," said George.

"When you have that trophy in your hands you want to keep it!

"We've had the high of winning a European Final and then got back into training, back on the grind and pounding the rocks.

"It's been a roller coaster season and we want to finish it on the perfect high of winning another double. That would be extra special."

Exeter, though, are hell bent on avenging last year's 27-10 Twickenham Final loss and regaining the crown they won in 2017.

"The hurt from last season was massive and we vowed that if we got to Twickenham again we'd put it right," said Exeter's England centre Henry Slade.

"Having tasted what it is like to win the title in 2017 we want to do that again.

"We have an even stronger squad now and the confidence and self-belief there in the camp is enormous.

"People say we are one-dimensional and boring but we don't care what others think."