Saxons suffer Scots cold blast

Richard Wigglesworth plays for Saracens and England Saxons

Playing for the England Saxons against Scotland at Newcastle the other week was the coldest I have ever felt on a rugby field.

I had played for Saracens against Munster in the Heineken Cup in heavy snow before that but this was unreal.

There was mud and water on the pitch, it was raining, sleeting and snowing and the wind was bone-chilling.

The result wasn't great either.

When we came off the pitch, some of the lads couldn't put their hands in the shower for ages because of hot aches.

Poor old Jordan Crane, our skipper, was the worst of the lot. We tried to give him a brew to stop him shivering but he couldn't even hold the cup because he had lost the feeling in his hands.

Despite the result, it was great to go away and be involved with the Saxons. There was a good bunch of lads with some good banter and, along with the familiar faces, it's always nice to spend some time with players I haven't really spoken much to before.

Everyone was pretty relaxed and it was good to share a few ideas about how the game should be played.

I am back with Saracens now and we have some key Aviva Premiership games coming up before the game that everyone at the club is looking forward to with relish - Ulster at home in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

It's a long way off yet but it is hard not to get excited about it.

We are really chuffed with ourselves to have come through a really hard pool this season to earn a home quarter-final.

The previous year, we made the last eight too. But we got past Biarritz, the Ospreys and Treviso then.

This year's pool was much harder with really big clubs like Munster, Racing Metro and Edinburgh involved.

We played good attacking rugby, kept our nerve in tough situations and, even when we were well behind against Racing Metro, we didn't panic and we stayed calm.

That's a good trait to have when there is loads going off around you.

If we can keep dealing with difficult situations as we have done, we could do quite well.

The other quarter-finals should be tasty viewing too. I only see Clermont as a home banker in their game with Montpellier. They are so hard to beat there.

Leicester will have a chance in Toulon if they play the way we know they can do and I think Harlequins will be too strong for Munster at The Stoop.


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