Mark McCall fired a warning shot at Heineken Champions Cup final opponents Leinster after watching his much-changed Saracens outfit breeze past Gallagher Premiership rivals Exeter 38-7.

With a semi-final spot already secured domestically, director of rugby McCall chose to make 11 changes ahead of next weekend’s European final in Newcastle – and saw a number of exciting fringe players made a compelling case for selection at Allianz Park.

Alex Lewington and Dominic Morris both bagged braces in the routine victory over title rivals Exeter, with Nick Tompkins adding a further score to cap a perfect afternoon at the office.

Just four points now separate first place Chiefs from Saracens in the table following the statement win, but attention will now turn to avenging last season’s agonising 30-19 Champions Cup quarter-final defeat against holders Leinster, who were afforded a rest weekend of their own after already sealing a Guinness PRO14 semi-final spot.

And McCall believes his squad are now perfectly primed to take on the reigning champions at St James’ Park on Saturday following a near-perfect build-up.

'We were in a different place last year. England had just had a very poor Six Nations and Ireland had just won the Grand Slam,” he said.

'We were missing some key players and it just feels different. That doesn't mean we will win but we will be in a much better state mentally going into that than we were 12 months ago.

“It is good to have a good buzz around the club but we all understand the quality of our opponent next week.

“These kind of games take a long time to win against quality opponents and they turn on small things normally so we have got to get everything right next week.”

In the absence of a host of star names, including Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola and Alex Goode, young guns Max Malins and Rotimi Segun both impressed at Allianz Park.

That youthful core was ably supported by giant Australian lock Will Skelton, who delivered another towering display for the Gallagher Premiership champions.

“The most satisfying aspect of the season so far has been the progression of the wider group,” added McCall.