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Leicester Tigers 27-32 Saracens, Aviva Premiership
McCall backs Strettle for England recall
ESPN Staff
February 24, 2013
Saracens' David Strettle dives over to score a try, Saracens v Sale Sharks, Aviva Premiership, Vicarage Road, Watford, England, January 6, 2013
David Strettle was in sensational form for Saracens against Leicester © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Mark McCall | David Strettle
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Mark McCall heaped praise on winger David Strettle after he scored twice to help Saracens to a superb 32-27 victory over Leicester at Welford Road.

Saracens scored four tries in the second-half to turn around a 17-6 half-time deficit. Strettle bagged two of them and with Chris Ashton struggling for form on the international stage, the ex-Harlequins winger could find himself back in Test contention for England's next Six Nations match against Italy on March 10.

And McCall has backed Strettle to shine for England if he is given the opportunity. "He is really on form at the moment," McCall said. "He has had a great two or three months with us, he's one of the form wingers and is in the EPS squad. They know what he can do."

Winger James Short and full-back Chris Wyles scored the other second-half tries while fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked 12 points. Leicester dominated the first half and scored tries through Julian Salvi and Dan Bowden but were completely outplayed after the interval before launching a grandstand finish which resulted in a penalty try and a yellow card for Strettle for a deliberate knock-on near his own line.

"It was a game of two halves, we did not turn up in the first and at 17-3 down just before half-time we had a mountain to climb, especially being at Welford Road," McCall said. "Leicester were on form at that point and we did incredibly well to turn it round in the second half.

"We were average in everything we did in the first half, we lost a lot of collisions and did not do the things we normally do. The dressing room was calm at half-time and the players said we needed to be much better in the second half and we were."

Leicester have had a miserable eight days having lost to champions Harlequins last week. Director of rugby Richard Cockerill admitted he was down to the bare bones but had no complaints and praised Saracens for their second half fightback.

"We controlled field position and the game in the first half," Cockerill said. "And the score reflected that. In the second half it was a complete role reversal and you have to give credit to Saracens.

"They played well and put us under pressure and we could not cope with it. It happens, it's done, we have lost, fair play to the boys for playing to the death and getting a point which may be important. It's disappointing from where we were at half-time but we have the best part of a team missing.

"It's not a disaster for us. We have to dust ourselves off and Sale next week becomes pretty important for us before we get everyone back for the run-in."

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