RUGBY: Bath not changing tack for Saracens, says Stringer

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Bath scrum-half Peter Stringer takes on Saracens tonight Bath scrum-half Peter Stringer takes on Saracens tonight

PREMIERSHIP  title favourites Saracens may be in town tonight but according to veteran scrum-half Peter Stringer, Bath Rugby will not be changing their approach one bit for the visit of Mark McCall's men, writes SACHA CLAYTON.

Bath are in team in form right now - they have won their last seven fixtures in all competitions and currently sit in third position in the Premiership, hanging on to the coat-tails of Northampton Saints and Saracens.

Something will have to give this weekend - Saracens have the second best away record in the Aviva Premiership this season, their only defeat coming at Franklins Gardens against Northampton Saints, while Bath have a 100 per cent home record at the Rec this season.

But rather than fret about the arrival of Saracens tonight for the live televised BT Sport fixture - Stringer insists Bath are relishing the opportunity to go head-to-head against the very best in the league.

"It is a big fixture when you look at it, Saracens have had success over the last few seasons and the only games they've lost have been away this season," said Stringer.

"These are the game that you want to be involved in week-in-week-out to test yourself and it is nice to play a team in the top two to try and challenge yourself.

"I think it important from our own point of view, it is important to keep building on this winning streak that we have and keep putting in performances.

"From our point of view it is just another hurdle and a big one that we have to overcome.

"The progression that we are working towards in the squad and it has been a good few months and there has been good competitiveness.

"That is what is driving us on and I think whoever gets to put on the jersey, it is a massive honour for them to go out and play well and hopefully pull off another victory.

"We are certainly going out to win the game and it will be a challenge but it is something in the squad that we are striving to keep progressing towards the knock out stages."

At 36, Stringer is the senior statesman of this season's Bath challenge - they don't come much more experienced than the number nine, who played over 200 games for Munster, has 98 caps for Ireland and also played for the Barbarians.

And the former Ireland international is relishing his role as a leader on and off the field in what is a young and exciting Bath squad, which has seen the likes of youngsters George Ford and Anthony Watson prosper under his tutelage.

"I suppose I do mentor the guys in a way but it is not a bad thing, it is something I gladly welcome and it is part of my game at this stage," he added.

"You gather more experience and knowledge of the game and you can pass it on.

"From that point of view I have been working with the younger players and if I can help then that's great, it is an additional bit of pressure but something I gladly welcome.

"If it is to the benefit of the team then it's great, there are a few leaders in the squad and we have a lot of experienced guys.

"You play the game to win trophies and I have been fortunate over the years to win a couple of things.

"Success with any team is brilliant and I have come here and settled in really well with a good group of players.

"Our goal here is to win trophies and if we can do that as a group I think it will be pretty special."

Every match in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season is crucial, to be there to support your team buy your ticket from premiershiprugby.com/tickets

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