England star George Kruis looks set to be the next big name to leave Saracens as the fallout from the club’s salary cap breach continues.
New CEO Edward Griffiths told the Saracens squad this week that some players may have to leave or face salary cuts to prove they are operating within the Premiership salary cap this season.
RugbyPass now understands that Kruis is set to leave the club at the end of the season and take up a lucrative deal in Japan.
If Kruis departs it will also effectively end the 29-year-old’s England career, representing a significant blow to Eddie Jones’ forward pack. A British and Irish Lion in 2017, Kruis has been a regular in Jones’ pack in recent campaigns.
Kruis is a product of Saracens academy. When he was first offered a trial at the academy in 2008, he was initially deemed too slight at 92kg. However, he put on three stone in a year and joined the club full-time in July 2009.
(Continue reading below…)
Should he go, Kruis won’t be the only big name to leave the club, with a number of other player’s futures now in the balance. Last week Liam Williams confirmed he would return to Scarlets, a deal which may now go ahead before the end of the season, meaning a significant chunk of the Welshman’s salary will be off the books.
Earlier this week interim boss Griffiths told RugbyPass that it will either be a salary reduction across the squad or a reduction in headcount. “I am currently examining what the scope of any issue is and there are two ways of dealing with it. You either reduce your headcount by letting people go or alternatively you reduce the salaries of those already there.
“The team we took over 2009 was not the current side. It was a broken team full of rugby mercenaries."
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 8, 2020
“This will clearly cause instability and uncertainty within the squad and it is in everyone’s interest that this is sorted as soon as possible while also being mindful that we are dealing with people’s lives, livelihoods and reputations.
“I would hope to have answers sooner rather than later. I told the squad last week the primary challenge is to provide certainty, confidence and clarity as soon as possible but there is no magic wand. It cannot be done in hours and I hope it would be done in a matter of weeks. Of course, this is a difficult time but we need to follow this process carefully and sensitively.”
WATCH: RugbyPass have made something truly special with the Barbarians rugby team – the documentary will be released on January 12
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now