Saracens ready for 'big occasion' says Owen Farrell

Saracens play Ulster in a Heineken Cup quarter-final clash at Twickenham this weekend

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The Independent Online

England star Owen Farrell readily admits that Saracens love “a big occasion”.

He believes they will embrace tomorrow's Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Ulster at Twickenham, where victory would set up a Twickenham last-four appointment with Toulon or Leicester later this month.

"I am sure Twickenham will be rocking," Saracens fly-half Farrell said.

"We like playing in big stadiums and in these occasions - we have proven that in the past.

"As much as we pride ourselves on turning up week in and week out, we do like a big occasion and playing in a stadium like Twickenham and in front of a big crowd. I have not yet seen a game when the team has not been up for it.

"There have been some brilliant occasions over the last couple of years, but we talk about the next game being the biggest game. You don't look back on it and you don't look ahead, and the next game really is a big game - Ulster at Twickenham."

Saracens, the current Aviva Premiership leaders, are bidding to reach their first Heineken semi-final since 2008, when they lost narrowly against Munster at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena.

Ulster, though, have the experience of featuring in last year's final at Twickenham, albeit a painful one as they went down 42-14 to a rampant Leinster side, and Farrell expects a fierce examination.

"They are a very well-coached, physical team," he added.

"They are very well-organised, they know how to control field position and how to manipulate defences. It will be two good teams going at it on the weekend.

"You look across their team and they have world-class players all over the pitch. It will be a tough challenge, but I don't think they are used to playing against teams like us either."

French rivals Clermont Auvergne and Montpellier meet in tomorrow's opening quarter-final, while Harlequins host Munster on Sunday, when Leicester tackle Toulon at Stade Felix Mayol.

Wasps boss David Young, meanwhile, has underlined a need for watertight discipline in tonight's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final showdown with Leinster.

Young's team go into the Adams Park clash following a run of four successive Premiership defeats.

"We've been on the back foot defending quite a lot in our last few games, and when you are doing that for large parts of a game you end up conceding penalties," he said.

"In a one-off cup game you need to keep everyone on the field, and how we carry ourselves in our discipline could be the difference between winning and losing."

Leinster, Heineken Cup winners last season, failed to progress from their group this time around and were one of three pool runners-up handed Challenge Cup last-eight spots, being joined by Biarritz and Toulouse.

French rivals Perpignan and Toulouse are also in action tonight, meeting at Stade Aime Giral, with the winners facing a semi-final later this month against Bath or Stade Francais, who tackle each other at the Recreation Ground tomorrow.