Mouritz Botha is relishing Sunday’s return to his old club Saracens as Newcastle Falcons make the Aviva Premiership trip to Allianz Park.
The former England lock made 95 Aviva Premiership appearances in six seasons at Sarries, helping them win the Premiership title before spending a season in Super Rugby with the Sharks.
Returning to England with Newcastle and making 13 league outings this term, Botha said: “This will be my first time back at Sarries and I am excited about it.
“I will probably get a nicer reception from the crowd than the players during the game!”
Up against a Saracens side placed top of the Aviva Premiership and having already qualified for the European Champions Cup final, Botha said: “It will be a tough, physical game. There will be no freebies out there and we want to get a result. Hopefully after the game we can go for a few beers, but the most important thing is what happens during those 80 minutes.
“Having been there for so long I know what to expect, but Sarries are known for mixing things up and coming up with different plans. You have got to expect everything down there, it is a big challenge for the whole group and we are confident. We have trained well and the mood in the camp is very positive.
“We want to go down there, play at a high tempo and bring massive intensity. If we can do that then I believe things can go our way.”
Going into the weekend seven points ahead of London Irish at the foot of the table, Botha remains unconcerned by results elsewhere as the Falcons remain in control of their own top-flight destiny.
He said: “We don’t look too far outside the circle in terms of putting pressure on ourselves. We are not too bothered about what other people think of us, we just want to go down there and get the result.
“It was a bit of a weight off our shoulders beating London Irish the other week but we know the job is not done yet. It was a tough game, we did well to come out with the win but we still have to fight for another result to make sure of things.
“People outside might have one eye on what London Irish are doing but we just need to focus on ourselves, and what Saracens will offer. If we start thinking about the London Irish score we lose focus on what we are doing, and we won’t allow that to happen.”