The time of Brad Barit in the Saracens was only for victory.
The former England central has been captain of the London club through the most successful period in their history and has won five Gallagher titles and three Champions Cups.
As a man who knows what it takes to succeed, Baritt believes his old team has an advantage in Saturday’s playoff match against serious rivals in the capital Harlequin.
Brad Baritt (center left) won five championships and three Saracen Champions Cup
Mark McCall’s side separates just two games from the next Premier League champion.
Such a success would be all the more remarkable given that this season the Saracens have returned to the English Rugby Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2020 for violating the rules of salary restrictions in the league.
“Playoff games are very different from playing in the Premier League,” Barit Sportsmail said.
“They always have an added advantage. Teams that usually do well in playoff games are those that have had experience with them before and found more than one way to win.
“At Saracens we used to talk about winning games that weren’t worth it because the team could adapt and survive to different circumstances and pressures.
Baritt was captain of the London club through the most successful period in their history
“For me, Saracens are bordering now. They still have a fantastic core group of players who have been a key part of the club’s history and have won championships and Champions Cups.
“They also participated in big international knockout games with England. It’s very good for them, especially since they qualified at home for this key semifinal with the Harlequins.
Barit won 26 matches for England, but it was his commitment to the Saracens that set him apart from the crowd. His premier prediction, though, may have some bias.
So will the Saracens win?
“Yes, I think so, both heart and head,” Barit said.
“I would like the club to return to where they were after all the fights they went through. But more importantly, when I think head on, I see an extremely balanced team.
Mark McCall’s side separates just two games from the next Premier League champion
“I think it’s about the team being able to adapt and play rugby in a slightly different style than they want because the playoff games don’t always go the way you’d like.
“Saracens have more than one string on the bow. They can win in different circumstances. “
Harlequins and English rapper Joe Marler added extra spice to Saturday’s meeting with the Saracens, saying the two clubs “despise each other”.
He told The Times: “They are our sworn rivals whom we despise as a club and we despise each other. Rivalry is poisonous. We play with them in their really damn stadium with a plastic field. “
Baritt was still at Saracens when news broke that the club’s salary limit had been violated. In particular, Queens became an exception to the rule.
“All you can do is look at yourself in the mirror. I know every blood, sweat and tears I have shed in and out of the field in 12 and a half years, ”said Baritt, speaking from his home in Cape Town.
Saracens return to major leagues this season after relegation in 2020 for violating league wage restrictions
“Unfortunately, in life you will never be able to satisfy everyone. In my heart I know how hard each of these successes was earned. We had to work on each trophy.
“Many teams tried to emulate this, but were unsuccessful.
“We are talking about creating a team, culture and team. One thing that really stands out for me with the Saracens is that you don’t accept players who come back from international service and don’t perform.
“In other clubs around the world, players can have a ‘choose and choose’ mentality.” But the Saracens all love a club that goes beyond rugby.
“It’s already two years ago, and it’s time to put that (salary limit) to sleep.
“It’s nice to see where the team is now after their first season in the Premier League, but they know the work is only half done.”
Now, after retiring in 2020, Baritt works for the British fitness company Pollinate and the coffee company Tiki Tonga, which he founded in 2016. His current location makes Barita quite ready to analyze not only the Saracens but also the future of rugby. on the land of the Springboks.
From next season, the best domestic teams of South Africa will compete with the giants of the English and French club games in the Heineken Champions Cup. The organizers of the European Professional Club Rugby Tournament confirmed earlier this month three South African qualifiers for the Joint Rugby Championship.
Harlequin props Joe Marler added extra spice to Saturday’s showdown with the Saracens
These are bulls from Pretoria, sharks from Durban and stormers from Cape Town. These three teams – plus the Lions – are already competing in the URC as South Africa seeks to continue to combine itself with the northern hemisphere.
This movement could one day lead to South Africa’s accession to six countries.
Baritt said: “The feeling you are feeling in South Africa is extremely exciting. For a long, long time the Champions Cup has been the envy of the rest of the rugby world.
“It’s really the one you want to be a part of and the one you want to win. I have seen comments about the history of this European competition, but I think that if we are honest with ourselves, what do we want to see? We want rugby to grow as a game and thrive around the world. What better way to do this than to draw more eyes to a fantastic competition?
“I think South Africans are adding significant competition. They are competing in a new competition at the URC, where they play the most in away games and travel long distances, and three of them entered the top eight. I think the sky is the limit to where they can get.
“It’s also a Covid investigation. This has catastrophically affected rugby. What better way to run a game again than to add a new item? We now have the three largest rugby audiences in the UK, France and South Africa in one competition. Rugby is a religion in South Africa.
“I think every player who wants to test themselves against the best will enjoy it.”