Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall heaped praise upon his side following their thumping 60-0 Championship play-off final first leg win over Ealing Trailfinders.

Bolstered by a host of internationals, Saracens raced into a 27-0 first-half lead thanks to tries from Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Aled Davies.

The onslaught continued after the break with a brace from Billy Vunipola, a penalty try and scores from Nick Tompkins and Sean Maitland compounding Ealing’s misery.

And speaking after his side all but sealed promotion back to the Premiership after their salary cap enforced relegation last season, McCall was in a buoyant mood.

“We were right at it from the beginning and although it was only 10-0 after 17 or 18 minutes, we were putting them under pressure, denting them, and eventually that always tells,” he said.

“We’ve got to be Covid-free next week, God knows what would happen if we’re not. Hopefully this scoreline would dictate what happens.

“But we've wanted and waited for this opportunity for many months and we were determined to take the opportunity and dictate from the get-go.”

The result leaves Ealing, who topped the Championship table this season, starring down the barrel of an almost insurmountable deficit.

McCall’s opposite number Ben Ward conceded his side’s Premiership ambitions are over but wants to see his side put some pride back into their green and white jerseys in the second leg, which kicks off at 3.30pm on Sunday.

Ward said: “It’s tough to take.

“For us as a club, we speak about the journey that we’re on, where we’ve been and where we want to get to and I guess that this will be part of that journey.

“I don’t think that there is another way to look at it. We know that essentially for us the tie is done now and we’re not going to win promotion.

“For us, I think it’ll be about putting some pride back into the shirt.”