Quins v Sarries still biggest game of season – Care

Harlequins and England scrum-half Danny Care admits it’s been tough watching neighbours Saracens notch up “trophy after trophy”.

The west London rivals face each other on Saturday at the Twickenham Stoop in the Premiership.

Defending champions Sarries have won five of the last nine Premierships but Quins currently sit top of the table.

“We sat there watching them lift trophy after trophy and couldn’t do much about it,” Care, 36, told BBC Radio London.

“They are the best team in the league, the team you have to beat with the players and the squad they have got.

“With the respect we have for them, their rugby-playing ability and the players they have got, you have to be at the top of your game and be in that peak zone to pitch up and win.

“When Quins play Sarries, it is still the biggest game of the season.”

‘Whooping and hollering’

Saracans, who won the European Champions Cup three times between 2016 and 2019, are sixth in the Premiership after losing their first two games, but only five points behind the leaders.

Quins, who won their second Premiership title in 2021, have won four of their first five league games and Care says the current positions will add an extra element to the resumption of the rivalry.

“There’s always the added edge of what has gone on and the history between these two clubs,” Care said.

“You have to give it your all because we know they’ll be doing their whooping and hollering to try to wind us up, and sometimes that can spill over, but it shows how much we care about this team and this club.”

Like half-a-dozen Saracens stars, Care – who joined Quins from his native Leeds Tykes in 2003 – has returned to domestic duty following England’s World Cup campaign.

Saturday will be his second match back – he again starts on the bench – after helping his country to the semi-finals in France before their elimination by eventual winners, South Africa.

“It’s great to come back into a positive winning environment, which is not always the case when you come back from international duty, but it’s been brilliant,” he said.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air coming back in and it being so positive.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with a lot of them (Saracens players) the last few months – brilliant people and rugby players.

“We know they are going to come full ball at us this weekend and we are excited for the challenge.”