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Calum Clark retires from playing to take up unique new Saracens role

By Kim Ekin
Saracens' Calum Clark looks to get past Newcastle's Tom Penny and Nili Latu (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

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After a career bookmarked by occasional violent outbursts, former England flanker Calum Clark is set to come full circle with a new ‘well-being’ role at Saracens. The club confirmed that Clark is retiring as a player to take up the role of ‘well being and personal development’ manager at the progressive north London club.

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The 32-year-old has been studying the psychological side of sport, and the club say he will now be staying on and working closely alongside David Jones, who is Head of Psychology and Personal Development at the club.

The move is in stark contrast to a colorful disciplinary record which saw him red-carded for head-butting at U20s level for England and infamously hyper-extending Leicester Tigers’ Rob Hawkins’ arm which saw him banned for 32 weeks, the longest ban in English rugby history at the time.

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“In terms of being a player I’d say it’s been great to have had the opportunity to come and challenge myself at a club like Saracens,” said Clark, who is excited by his new opportunity at StoneX Stadium. “It hasn’t worked out the way that I had hoped as a player but I have met some great people and learned a lot about myself.

“For my next role, I have been studying hard alongside my rugby career for a number of years. I’m passionate abut improving the way in which the mental and emotional health of athletes is approached and handled.

“Thankfully this is an area that Saracens are also looking to improve and I feel very lucky to be continuing as part of the organisation. I’d like to thank the club for their support during what has been a particularly difficult period of time for me. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

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Saracens’ Calum Clark takes care of himself against the Sale pack in February 2018 (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
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Director of Rugby Mark McCall commented: “Calum will be working to further the clubs Personal Development and Psychology provision. Having completed post-graduate study in Psychology, Calum will be supporting players in various areas such as preparing for a career post Rugby and the mental and emotional aspects of professional sport. We are looking forward to Calum starting his new role and helping to progress the Saracens.”

Clark moved to Saracens ahead of the 2017/18 campaign and featured 18 times as the club regained the Premiership title. The former Northampton Saints back rower has worn a Sarries jersey on 57 occasions and has proved an influential figure during the international periods, offering advice and leading a young group.

Clark gained one England cap as he represented his country in Paris against France before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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Calum Clark retires from playing to take up unique new Saracens role

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