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'Ah bollocks!' and 'Superb signing': Koch transfer stirs emotions

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

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BT Sport rugby commentator Nick Mullins reckons the decision of Springboks prop Vincent Koch to leave Saracens for Wasps will be just one of plenty of big-name moves as clubs in the English top-flight look to get their salary caps in order ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. 

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The 31-year-old South African has been a firm favourite of Saracens fans since his arrival in London in 2016, the World-Cup winning prop even playing for the club in last season’s Championship title-winning campaign.

However, just weeks after the switch of George Ford from Leicester to Sale lit up the Premiership grapevine, the news that Koch is heading to Wasps next season has had a similarly busy reaction online.  

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It was at 11.45am on Thursday when Saracens admitted they had lost their man, tweeting: “Thank you, Vinnie. We can today confirm that @vincentkoch1 will be leaving the club at the end of the season.”

This was followed by the noon confirmation from Wasps that Koch would be their new tighthead next season. “Welcome to Wasps… Mr Incredible x Vincent Koch,” they posted with a video accompanying the news of their Premiership transfer coup.   

Mullins, who covers the league for UK rights holders BT Sport, soon tweeted: “Prepare for plenty of big-name moves like Vincent Koch’s. Trimming the Premiership wage cap to £5m/year and cutting back to just one marquee player means most will be busy re-shaping their squads and off-loading high-earners over the next couple of seasons.”

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Numerous fans gave their reaction to the deal taking Koch from London to Coventry, Saracens understandably showing their disappointment and Wasps supporters cheering from the rooftops. Stand up comedian, actor, writer Hal Cruttenden, a high profile Saracens supporter, said: “Ah bollocks! Great player who I think I always underrated because he had too nice a face for a prop.”  

Another Sarries fan added: “Absolutely gutted with this news. With the rumours of Mako (Vunipola) as well, don’t look good for the future.” Another tweet read: “Like many Sarries supporters I’m gutted to hear Vincent Koch is leaving. He has contributed immeasurably to Saracens’ success. He’ll be a huge asset to Wasps.”

Fans of the Coventry-based club were naturally thrilled with their singing. One tweeted: “Could ever only see Vincent Koch leave Sarries for Sale with his best mate there….how wrong was I!?”

Another reckoned: “Superb signing for Wasps, one-third of the bomb squad. He really is the real deal, a signing of intent by Wasps. I feel Saracens may regret this one although you never know what they have in the pipeline. He is at the top of his game entering his prime.”

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