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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hoping for win over Harlequins to extend gap at top of the Premiership
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall says a win over Harlequins on Sunday would give the Men in Black a "small bit of breathing space" at the top of the Premiership table.
McCall's side are currently four points clear of second-placed Quins with five matches to play and a victory at Allianz Park could stretch that gap to eight.
"It's an important game from that point of view because if we were to win it would give us a small bit of breathing space," McCall said.
"But at the same time it's going to be a very difficult match - Quins are one of the best teams and one of the most consistent teams in the competition.
"They've had a great rise in the last couple of seasons and all the games we've played against them have been tremendously close."
Both sides will welcome back international players away on Six Nations duty although it is understood Saracens will not recall all of their absentees into the starting line-up.
McCall said: "It does of course give us some decisions to make but we've always rotated our squad and the players know that.
"The players know that between now and the end of the season we'll be using more than the 15 that play this weekend.
"We've obviously got the (Heineken Cup) quarter-final against Ulster coming up in a couple of week's time and it's important to reintegrate the players who haven't been with us for the last couple of months."
Sarries have registered three consecutive bonus-point victories in the league but McCall insists it will be important for the players to keep their heads and play intelligently on Sunday.
"All we ask of our players is they make good decisions, they do what's right at the right time and that's always been our philosophy at the club.
"We scored three try-scoring bonus points in those last three Premiership matches which was a good achievement and that's something we're very pleased about."
The Men in Black boss was also full of praise for Saracens legend Richard Hill who left the club this week after a 20-year stay.
The flanker made 275 appearances for Sarries between 1993 and 2008 and following his retirement he spent five years working with the club's academy.
McCall said: "Richard's obviously just an icon at the club and an icon of English rugby.
"He's a huge fugure and has done everything really that you can do in the game in terms of what can be achieved initially at Saracens but then with England - getting a World Cup winners medal and with the British Lions as well."