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Gaffney targets error-free performance
January 27, 2007

Saracens boss Alan Gaffney will stress the need for a low error-count by his players in tomorrow's Guinness Premiership clash against London Irish.

The European Challenge Cup quarter-finalists have won four of their last six league games, a sequence that has left them hovering around the title play-off zone.

But Gaffney knows the dangers eighth-placed Irish could pose at Vicarage Road, especially if Saracens make mistakes.

Gaffney said: ``Having reviewed our recent matches against London Irish, we will have to make sure we keep our error-count low.

``In recent games against them, we played a lot of rugby, but we lost because of mistakes and conceding turnover ball.

``We cannot afford to do that and, because of the pace in their side, it makes them very dangerous in all areas of the pitch.

``This is an important fixture for us. We've only played one game in the Premiership this month and, going into the break for the RBS 6 Nations, we are keen to cement our place in the top half of the table.''

Saracens will be without Andy Farrell under the agreement that England squad players do not feature within seven days of an international match, while Irish have lost Shane Geraghty for identical reasons.

Irish, though, have Geraghty's England squad colleague Mike Catt back as captain of a side that includes Riki Flutey at fly-half and Samoan wing Sailosi Tagicakibau returning in the number 11 shirt following an injury lay-off.

Exiles rugby director Brian Smith said: ``We believe we are capable of a top-six Premiership finish, but we realise that a lot of other clubs have a similar target.

``We are under no illusions about the difficulty of our task on Sunday. Saracens are on a roll, having won seven of their last eight matches [in all competitions].

``Alan Gaffney has the luxury of picking from a talented, fit and almost full-strength squad that will want to give of its best in front of the homecrowd.''

Meanwhile, Wasps boss Ian McGeechan has brushed aside the fitness fears surrounding new England captain Phil Vickery for next week's RBS 6 Nations Championship opener against Scotland at Twickenham.

Vickery did not feature for Wasps in last night's 3-3 Guinness Premiership draw against relegation favourites Worcester as he rested a sore ankle.

McGeechan said: ``Phil should be all right for next week.

``It was not worth risking him tonight, so don't say that I never do anything for England! We haven't done anything to put his place in jeopardy for next week.''

Fellow England men Josh Lewsey, Joe Worsley and Tom Palmer all played varying roles in a forgettable Sixways encounter.

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