Woolstencroft hopes for another fruitful campaign
Tom Woolstencroft enjoyed a fruitful first season at Allianz Park.
The hooker joined from London Irish last summer and helped Saracens to success in both the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup, appearing in the final of the former.
“I loved my first year at Saracens, I ended up playing more than I thought I would,” he said.
“With the nature of internationals and a big contingent of our squad being away for those, there is a big responsibility on other members of the team to step up.
“I actually really embraced that and enjoyed taking the club through those blocks and we got some really good results. They were some of my best weeks playing in those games.
“I think I coped with the step up. I hadn’t played as many Premiership games the year before when I was at London Irish so I was apprehensive at first but after the first few games I felt confident and got up to speed.”
Woolstencroft was also influential in Sarries reaching the Premiership Rugby Cup final where they came up against this weekend’s opponents Northampton Saints.
The tournament has kick-started the 2019/20 season and for the Somerset man it’s a chance to continue developing his game, especially with the likes of Jamie George and Jack Singleton at the Rugby World Cup.
“I feel the more game time I can get, the more experience I can get, especially in the set piece area, that’s only going to help me.”
“I loved the Rugby Cup campaign,” he said. “It was a massive opportunity for the younger lads and guys like myself who haven’t really played loads of top quality rugby to put a marker down and show the coaches what we’re all about.
“In terms of where I’m at now, I still want to play as much as I can. I’m 24, nearly 25 and for a hooker that’s still relatively young and I think there’s still a lot of improvement I can make to my name.
“I feel the more game time I can get, the more experience I can get, especially in the set piece area, that’s only going to help me. Once I get that I think I can really develop and push for those starting positions and push for more hopefully.
“This season I want to get the same game time as last year when I got lots. That’s the nature of it, once you get a taste for it you don’t want anything less. After last season I want to keep pushing. When the internationals come back my job is to really push them and back them better players and myself a better player.
“You look at the Sarries side and it’s basically an international side, if you can establish yourself in that sort of squad then you never know what will happen.
“Once you’ve had a taste of success you want to replicate it but from our chats this season we need to keep focusing on improving.”