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Nov 7, 2015 at 3.15pm UK at Franklin's Gardens
SaintsNorthampton Saints
6-12
Saracens
FT

Mark McCall: 'Returning England players were magnificent'

Mark McCall praises the performances of Saracens' returning English players as they beat Northampton Saints.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has said that his returning English players were "magnificent" in the champions 12-6 win at Northampton Saints.

In a game of no tries at Franklin's Gardens, 12 points from the boot of Owen Farrell saw the visitors take victory.

However, McCall has admitted that the game against Saints was not the best in terms of quality, despite the calibre of players on both sides.

He told reporters: "I thought all of our English players were magnificent today. Our young second rows were exceptional - George Kruis and Maro Itoje were truly brilliant and led the charge physically in the second half.

"We want to play, but sometimes you get games like today, where the ball is incredibly slow and slippy and you have to grind it out.

"It probably wasn't the best advert for the Premiership but that is the way the game went and our job was to make sure we won."

Sarries are now two points clear of Exeter Chiefs at the top of the table.

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George Kruis of Saracens catches the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium on March 22, 2014
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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