Jamie George became the first Saracens player to say that he will remain with his club next season despite their relegation to the Championship, and he has been followed by Elliot Daly.
The futures of many Saracens players have been cast into doubt ever since their automatic relegation from the Gallagher Premiership was confirmed in January due to salary cap breaches.
With a host of Test players in their squad, there is a danger that this could jeopardise their chances of playing for their country.
The Rugby Football Union have made it clear that England players are available to be selected if they are playing in the Championship, which is encouraging for those hoping Saracens retain their players.
George has been the first to commit and Daly has suggested he will do the same. Having come through Saracens’ academy, George has stuck by the club that have developed him as a player and he has been praised for his loyalty.
Says it all really ! Buzzing that Jamie is staying & I honestly believe Farrell, Itoje, possibly Daly too will commit to the club. Treat next season as a sort of ‘sabbatical’ but with plenty of Rugby played also ! I think Jamie’s commitment is just the start !
— Kate (@k_iddon) February 13, 2020
Hope his fellow players do the same, Saracens made them ?
— Stephen Owen (@SteveOHRman) February 13, 2020
Many Saracens players will be preoccupied with the Six Nations, so may not focus on finalising their club futures until after the internationals, but George and Daly have provided promising signs for supporters.
Good on Jamie George. Let’s hope a few more follow his lead. https://t.co/6IxfUodgcb
— John Bartholomew (@barty1951) February 13, 2020
@elliotdaly @J_George2 well done lads to come out and make a statement that you’ll be staying. It’s the unity our club needs in these difficult times. We do our talking on the pitch where it matters, so proud. #TogetherSaracens ???? @Saracens @sarriessupport @richiems
— Aaron Baldeo (@sarriebrownbear) February 15, 2020
This may actually provide a sabbatical year for many players where their workload is reduced.
Come July 2021, British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland may be the most grateful if players remain with the London club as it means many members of his likely squad to take on South Africa will be more refreshed than those playing in the Gallagher Premiership and the Guinness PRO14.
I think Faz & Itoje will stay. Not sure about Mako or Billy tho. I think they might leave, got that feeling from the way Mako was talking the other day.
— ??Stephen?Smith?? (@StephenJESmith) February 16, 2020
— The White Helmet (@WSarries) February 13, 2020
Whether the likes of Scotland’s Sean Maitland and Wales’ Rhys Carre and Nick Tompkins will remain next season is unclear, as the Scottish Rugby Union and the Welsh Rugby Union may not be keen on the idea of their players competing in the Championship.
But many Saracens supporters are hoping that George and Daly have started a trend that their team-mates will now follow as the season goes on.
WATCH: Damning report reveals the extent of the Saracens salary cap breaches
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