By Sir Clive Woodward for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:34 BST, 1 April 2018 | Updated: 22:34 BST, 1 April 2018
That was a fantastically gutsy effort from Saracens, but ultimately they were well-beaten by a high-class Leinster team.
The Premiership’s failure to produce a European Cup semi-finalist sums up a poor season for England and English rugby.
We have been asking our top players to do too much too often and in the season after a Lions tour we have seen the consequences with fresher Irish players — rested more often domestically — underpinning Leinster and Munster’s campaigns, while many Scarlets missed out on the New Zealand tour.
Maro Itoje epitomises English players who need a rest after non-stop rugby since Lions tour
That’s an observation, not a criticism. I am a huge admirer of Maro Itoje, for example. I see in him the new Martin Johnson and when I say he’s not at his very peak at present I speak as a sympathetic coach who has seen it happen to other outstanding players.
Maro is not the snarling, supercharged player of 2016