Saracens man-of-the-match Maro Itoje says his side had no choice but to dig deep in their 37-34 victory over Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership Rugby final.

Exeter went ahead after 27 seconds through Nic White before Saracens hit back with scores from Jamie George and Ben Spencer but the Chiefs went into the break 22-16 ahead.

Henry Slade extended Exeter’s lead to 27-16 after half-time but tries from Liam Williams and Sean Maitland put Saracens ahead before George scored his second try to seal a second successive title.

England international Itoje, who made 11 ball-carries in the final, acknowledged that Owen Farrell and Richard Wigglesworth galvanised the team.

“It’s hard to put it into words. We have been working towards this all year and credit to the team, credit to all the support staff. It was a massive squad effort,” he said.

“It’s getting harder. Every year, we have to dig a little bit deeper and fair play to Exeter – they are a top side.

“They are by far the second-best team in the competition, so fair play to them.

“We had no choice, we had to dig deep. We either had to sit back and let it happen, lose this opportunity or just go out there and give it our all.

“We have some fantastic leaders in that team the likes of Owen and Wiggy. They got us, they galvanised us, and we managed to get the ball back.

“I think that gave us more character. We didn’t really play well for large parts of that game.

“We didn’t give ourselves the best opportunity to play well but luckily, we had enough time to rescue it.

“It means an awful lot to me on a personal level but to be honest I’m happier for the squad.

“There’s a lot of people who have put a lot of hours to make this performance happy today, so I’m just happy for everyone involved at Saracens.”