Saracens seek redemption in Bath Premiership final

Saracens play their fourth Premiership final in six years against a Bath side who return to the showpiece for the first time in 11 years.

Mark McCall has warned Bath that Saracens head into Saturday's Premiership final with a different mindset to last season's agonising extra-time defeat to Northampton Saints.

Saracens suffered heartbreak 12 months ago as Alex Waller's try in the last minute of the additional time helped Northampton to a 24-20 victory and their first Premiership title.

That defeat came just a week after Saracens had slumped to a 23-6 defeat to Toulon in the Heineken Cup final.

Saracens, who only made the play-offs thanks to a final-day hammering of London Welsh, gained a measure of revenge on Northampton with a 29-24 victory in last week's semi-final at Franklin's Gardens.

And director of rugby McCall believes Saracens are approaching their fourth final in six years at Twickenham with renewed optimism.

"It's our fourth final in six seasons and that's a good achievement in itself," McCall, who names the same side that beat Saints, told BBC Sport. "Twelve months ago in the dressing room this seemed a long way off. It's been a difficult journey and we're happy to be back there.

"We go into the game in good spirits after beating Northampton. This time last year we went into the final having lost the European Cup final to Toulon the week before.

"That was a draining experience physically and mentally and this year we go in with a different mindset."

Saracens' renowned defensive strength is sure to be tested by one of the most exciting backlines in the league in Bath.

Inspired by England fly-half George Ford, Bath possess pace, power and precision with the likes on Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan and Anthony Watson - the latter set to make his 50th appearance in an unchanged Bath starting XV.

Banahan was particularly impressive as Bath steamrollered Leicester Tigers in the semi-finals, the winger scoring a hat-trick in a brilliant 47-10 triumph at The Recreation Ground.

Bath, who last won the domestic title in 1996, are contesting their first final since 2004 and head coach Mike Ford is eagerly awaiting the occasion.

"We've made sure that nothing changes this week, especially in how we have approached the game." he said. "It's a hugely exciting day for everyone involved in the club, and we're really looking forward to getting out onto the turf at Twickenham against very good opposition."