Saracens celebrate like never before and could be set for more with double-double within reach

The 28-17 win means that Saracens now have the chance to do what no English team has done before them and win the double-double

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The Independent Online

If there’s one thing that Saracens do better than win the biggest finals in club rugby, it’s celebrating them afterwards, and that was none clearer than prop Richard Barrington’s pre-planned mix-tape to celebrate Saturday’s European Champions Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne.

“It was a different level,” said the Saracens hooker, Jamie George. “Baz absolutely killed it.”

It’s no secret that the two-time European champions like to celebrate when the time is right, and just for good measure, a video of Barrington’s dressing room antics was uploaded to the Saracens Twitter account shortly after victory at Murrayfield.

The 28-17 win means that Saracens now have the chance to win the double-double, with just a semi-final against Exeter Chiefs separating them from a fourth consecutive Premiership final appearance. Such achievements can break down even the most serious of characters – no, not Barrington – with the No 8 Billy Vunipola revealing on Saturday that he has taken a liking to joining his teammates in the post-match celebrations.

“We have a game next week but we might temper celebrations,” Vunipola said, with the England international admitting that the private night out in Edinburgh with family and friends of the club would be “massive” before turning attentions to Saturday’s trip to Exeter.

“We’ll probably think Exeter tomorrow [Sunday]. We have to have the opportunity to celebrate as that’s why you play rugby, to win big games like this but to make great memories.”

The giant back-row, who claimed Saturday’s man of the match award, was pictured looking slightly worse for wear in Dublin back in March after celebrating England’s Six Nations championship victory, but luckily the 24-year-old avoided a telling off for his antics.2

“Mum laughed but if it happened again she’d probably change her tone to annoyed. I have to keep it on the downlow,” he said.

“It’s kinda just changed. I wanted to give it a go, see what it like is and then stop again. But I’m still on the mulled wine, mate. I’m just enjoying it. I only drink when the boys are around when there’s something to celebrate – like Barcelona, or tonight. We have to keep it under wraps tonight.”

The party atmosphere was alive well before the final whistle though. Last year’s double-winner Charlie Hodgson and former captain Alistair Hargreaves were among many past and present Saracens players in attendance at Murrayfield, with wives, girlfriends, families and friends filling out the club’s VIP section.

It made for a partisan atmosphere directly in front of the press box, the likes of Will Fraser, Neil de Kock and Juan Figallo living every second of the match in the quest for another European success. It’s this camaraderie that seems to separate Saracens from the rest of the pack, with the players the first to push the notion of team spirit being behind their recent domination of the European game.

“The club are very generous,” said director of rugby Mark McCall afterwards. “All our families and close friends are up and are going to be part of us celebrating this evening. There's a venue we're going to go to together which we're looking forward to.”

Win two more games this season, and the post-Premiership final celebrations might be nothing that’s been seen before.

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