Birthday boy Owen Farrell hailed the impact of Saracens’ replacements in their thrilling 41-39 comeback win over Gloucester Rugby. 

The fly-half turned 31 on Saturday and kicked a last-gasp conversion to hand the home side a memorable win after they trailed 36-20 with 20 minutes remaining. 

Josh Hallett’s try had given Saracens hope before a late Tom Woolstencroft double, his second coming with the clock in the red, set up a level scoreline and gave Farrell the chance to snatch victory. 

And instead of taking credit after slotting with nerves of steel and contributing 14 points across the 80 minutes, the England international highlighted the impact of the replacements, which included the indomitable Woolstencroft. 

“When they scored two driving mauls at the end, you need to make sure you reward them with the win. I’m just thankful they put me in the position to reward them,” said Farrell. 

“I thought our bench came on and showed us how to play today. I thought their attitude was outstanding.  

“Not everything went perfect, even when they came on, but I thought they kept repping in and kept giving ourselves chances to win the game.  

“I thought they were a big plus for us today.” 

After leading 17-7 early in the second quarter thanks to Max Malins and Ben Earl’s scores, Gloucester roared back, crossing four times in a 13-minute spell to give Saracens a mountain to climb. 

And The Men in Black will have to address the problems the visitors exposed before they face champions Leicester Tigers at the weekend, after cup action sees them take on Harlequins on Wednesday. 

And Farrell acknowledged Saturday’s display was far from perfect, even if the manner of the win showed tremendous resilience. 

“Not our best performance today but it’s always exciting to win a game like that, when you get chances like that at the end,” said Farrell. 

“We want to enjoy wins like this. It’s nice to win in that fashion and we want to make sure we enjoy it."