Andy Christie: World Cup heartbreak with Scotland has helped Saracens back row 'mature'

Andy Christie (centre) playing for Saracens
Andy Christie (centre) helped Saracans to a third win of the season at Newcastle last weekend

Andy Christie's World Cup heartbreak has helped him "mature", according to Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

Christie, 24, missed out on the Scotland squad to travel to France after breaking his arm in April.

The back row will line up in the Premiership derby against Harlequins on Saturday for Sarries, for whom he is now playing a more significant role.

"To miss out on World Cup selection was hard for a young player to take," McCall told BBC Radio London.

"He had a tough end of season. He's handled it well. I've seen him mature a lot over the last 18 months but in particular the last six months."

Christie has won five caps for Scotland and has appeared 74 times for Saracens since his debut in 2021.

The club recently announced they had reached an agreement for a new "long-term contract" with Christie.

"We see him as a real leader of the club going forward," McCall added.

"He's one of the few 24 or 25-year-olds that we have got who have been at the club all their lives and hopefully will be here for the next 10 years."

London neighbours ready to resume Premiership rivalry

Saracens have won five Premierships in the last nine years, while Quins, currently top of the table, have won three in their history.

McCall's side find themselves sixth in the table having lost two of their opening five games but picked up victory on the road at Newcastle in their last outing.

Quins have won four from five including last weekend's win at Leicester Tigers.

"Quins are flying high, top of the table and playing really well, so it will be a big challenge," McCall added.

"We've had three good weeks but Quins are a very different challenge to what we faced last weekend.

"They were very impressive at Leicester Tigers and are playing really well.

They've been there or there abouts at the right end of the table for three or four years.

"They are clearly building something really strong there, so it promises to be a really good and tough game."