Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Capital Duo Turn on the Style to Keep Heineken Hopes Alive; Euro Tussle: Saracens' Richard Haughton and Hugh Vyvyan Tackle Osprey's Sonny Parker

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Capital Duo Turn on the Style to Keep Heineken Hopes Alive; Euro Tussle: Saracens' Richard Haughton and Hugh Vyvyan Tackle Osprey's Sonny Parker

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

RICHARD HILL admitted today the serious shoulder injury suffered bySaracens team-mate Andy Farrell had "put a dampener" on the celebrations aftertheir stunning 19-10 victory over Ospreys earned a Heineken Cup semi-finalclash with former champions Munster in Coventry on 27 April.

London Irish made it a double cup delight for the capital by defeatingPerpignan 20-9 to set up a clash with mighty Toulouse at Twickenham.

Sarries and Irish will go into their semifinals as underdogs, but that will notworry two clubs appearing in last four of the most prestigious club tournamentin Europe for the first time.

While the weekend largely featured unrestrained joy for players and supportersof both clubs, Farrell's total rupture of his shoulder joint left World Cupwinner Hill to reflect on how cruel the game can be.

Farrell (below) and Hill have spent many months in rehabilitation togetherovercoming career-threatening knee injuries, and while the former recovered intime to play in the World Cup, to be reduced to the role of spectator for thebiggest game in Saracens' history is a bitter blow.

Hill, who intends to retire at the end of the season, said: "What has happenedto Faz is not great and does put a dampener on things. I know how hard heworked to get back to full fitness and the only good thing is that there aren'tany pressures to rush back this time.

"He will be able to do his rehab and get ready for next season but I won't beplaying then. Despite this fantastic result, I am sticking with my plan toretire.

"People ask, 'Why do you do it? Why do you bother to get involved? Why comeback?'And the answer is for days like this..

To play in a team performance like that and to get that feeling of elation atthe end of the match.

"The knee gets looked after very well.

I've worked very carefully with the surgeon and all the medics over a number ofyears now. We seem to have found a fairly good formula to get me right formatches." Hill, who was named man of the match, paid special tribute to ownerNigel Wray who has put in nearly [pounds sterling]15million to try to make Sarries a majorforce in Europe. …

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