Saracens: Matt Stevens 'forever in debt' to Heineken Cup finalists

Stevens explains Heineken Cup flight

Saracens prop Matt Stevens will enter the Heineken Cup final playing for a side that he says saved his career.

The 31-year-old will return to his native South Africa after facing Toulon on Saturday and Northampton in next week's Premiership final.

He first played for Sarries in 2011 after a two-year drugs ban.

"They called me out of the wilderness and gave me that second chance. They had faith in me and I will forever be in their debt," he told BBC London.

An England international with 44 caps, Durban-born Stevens played for Bath between 2002 and 2009, before testing positive for cocaine.

He quit the West Country side and signed for Saracens in 2010, before making his return to the pitch in January 2011.

The forward went on to win a Premiership title with the north London club, was brought back into the England fold before retiring in August 2012, and now has an opportunity to claim a first Heineken Cup crown at the Millennium Stadium by defeating the defending champions.

"If you look at their team they are galacticos, full of international players," he said.

"It will be an epic game. Hopefully by the end of it we will have prepared well enough for the right score.

"This group has gone through a huge transformation over the last five years. This is a special club and it will be incredible to win."

Stevens will join South African side Sharks in the summer, while fellow forward Steve Borthwick will bring his career to an end.

The ex-Bath and England lock, 34, is struggling with a pectoral injury that will be assessed before the final.

"I've played my whole career with Steve. I followed him here from Bath like a bad smell," said Stevens.

"In my heart he's done a huge amount for the game and this club and it would be unbelievably disappointing if he were not to play in this final."

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