Mark McCall says Saracens, who are tomorrow expected to drop their appeal to the punishment dished out for breaching the Premiership salary cap, will continue to battle for glory at home and in Europe.
McCall refused to confirm that Saracens are ditching their appeal when he spoke after their 30-10 Heineken Champions Cup loss in Paris, but that is expected to emerge today as they take on board a 35 points deduction in the Premiership and a fine of over £5m.
The former Irish centre said his job was to prepare his squad to play rugby and leave it to the club owners and directors to make decisions on things such as the salary cap punishment.
“It’s not my decision to make. It’s not up to me obviously, so I’m getting on with the rugby and try and get the best out of this group of players.
“Of course I have not had a say. It is legal, technical decision whether you appeal, not whether the coach would like you to appeal. You have to have grounds for an appeal so I’ll leave that to people much cleverer than me.”
Saracens didn’t use any of the England World Cup campaigns and defeat on the opening day of the Heineken Champions Cup is not going to alter their plans.
“The outcome of today’s game was never going to change our individual plans for those England players. There are some we are considering playing next week, but I’m talking to them early this week and I think there are some who are not yet ready. We will play them when they are ready.
“Our injury list is not good. On this Wednesday coming, which will be our first training day this week, it will be the first time we have had the whole group together since the end of May when we played in the Premiership final.
“It will be the first time we really get together and have a chance to talk about things and how we go forward. And we are looking forward to having that because it’s been a long time that we haven’t been together.”
Saracens are expected to get the defence of their title back on track when they play Ospreys next weekend but McCall said they still might not be fully loaded for the two games against Munster next month.
“We need to think how we use our international players best but we are not giving up on this competition at all. We have some thinking to do and I expect us to put out strong teams in this competition all the time.
“There are only so many games players can play. Billy (Vunipola) is a good example. He played four friendlies and then five games in the World Cup. He’s going to play five games in the Six Nations. That kind of limits how often he can play for us so we need to decide what’s best for Billy and where we want to use him,” added McCall.