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A Rugby Champions Cup Semi-Finalist Enlisted The Help Of Jim McGuinness This Week

A Rugby Champions Cup Semi-Finalist Enlisted The Help Of Jim McGuinness This Week
By PJ Browne

It's a big week for Saracens. The English Premiership club are on the verge of another European final appearance. Standing in their way this Saturday though is the might of Clermont Auvergne. Players need to be in the right place mentally for such a huge game.

So Director of Rugby Mark McCall brought in someone renowned for getting the best out of individuals - Jim McGuinness. The former Donegal manager and current Celtic employee spoke to the Saracens squad this week.

McCall told the Press Association that McGuinness "captivated the group".

Jim McGuinness was the Donegal football manager for four seasons. He's currently the sports psychologist at Celtic and he was Paul McGinley's right-hand man at the Ryder Cup in 2014.

When he took over at Donegal in 2010, they hadn't won a game for three seasons and hadn't won a championship for 19 seasons.

He took them on a journey over four years and it seemed like a very similar journey to our own.

He captivated the group for an hour. He is an extremely passionate speaker and he was fantastic for the players, who really enjoyed it.

I am not from Donegal, but I studied the story from afar and admired what he did. He had a very interesting story.

Initially it might come as a surprise to some that Saracens recruited the Donegal man for the talk but when you consider that McCall is from Down, it really shouldn't.

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Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

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