England and Saracens backrow Ben Earl looks likely to sign a loan deal with Bristol Bears that will see him spend next season in the West Country.

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The backrow was named in England’s Six Nations squad last month after outstanding form for Saracens in both the Premiership and in Europe. He made his England debut against Scotland and has become a prime target of rival clubs following the automatic relegation of Mark McCall’s team.

Earl had been linked to Northampton Saints, Gloucester and Bristol in recent weeks, though it now appears the Bears have won the race to capture the openside.

RugbyPass understands the young backrow is eager to remain in the Premiership to further his elite playing experience and maintain his fledgling England career. Unlike other senior players who have far more experience under their belt, Earl may feel the top-level exposure is still vital for his personal development.

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A product of the Saracens academy, he has been at the North London club since he was 14. Earl made his senior Saracens debut as a replacement in the LV= Cup in November 2016 and featured a further four times, including his first outing in the Aviva Premiership.

He starred for England Under-20s at the Junior World Championships, scoring in the final against New Zealand, and went on to collect some early season minutes in the league this term.

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Earl captained his country in this year’s U20 Six Nations prior to crossing for a try on his first Premiership start against Exeter Chiefs.

Yesterday Elliot Daly became the latest senior player to pledge allegiance to Saracens, following England hooker Jamie George.

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“Yeah I reckon I’ll stay, pretty similar to Jamie. I am still in contract,” said Daly ahead of Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Ireland.

“We have the rest of the season to sort it out. At the moment, I’m just thinking about the next couple of games with England and then when I get back to Saracens, we’ll start talking about next year.”

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