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Saracens have refused to give up on the Champions Cup despite being handed one of their heaviest ever European defeats.
The embattled Londoners will today accept the 35-point deduction and £5.36 million fine handed to them for breaching the salary cap.
They will then hold clear-the-air talks with their star-studded squad on Wednesday at which they will attempt to not only plot a course to beat relegation from the Premiership but renew their commitment to defend their Euro crown.
“The situation is not ideal, let’s not pretend that it is,” team boss Mark McCall said after a severely weakened Sarries side tasted their first defeat in the competition since April last year.
“It occupies people’s minds in different ways, and players and coaches are experiencing different emotions every day.
“Of course, we are all bothered by it. But we are going to get together for the first time on Wednesday and have our first proper conversation about where we go from here.”
The decision not to seek a review of the draconian punishment handed to them means they will find themselves 26 points adrift at the foot of the Premiership with 18 games to save themselves.
The obvious course of action is to keep the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Jamie George, Elliot Daly and the Vunipola brothers for the domestic battle.
But McCall said: “While we certainly need to be thinking how we use our international players best, we are not giving up on this competition at all.”
All of this is the best case scenario, which assumes the players agree as one to carry on putting their shoulder to the wheel whilst much of the nation brands Saracens ‘cheats’.
For this is is a club which has been found guilty of breaching the salary cap over three seasons. Althou
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