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Saracens make prop Fraser Balmain their sixth signing for 2024/25

By Neil Fissler
Gloucester prop Fraser Balmain (Photo by Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Deposed Gallagher Premiership champions Saracens have ended their long and increasingly desperate search for a new tighthead after making Gloucester’s Fraser Balmain their sixth signing for next season.

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The 32-year-old Loughborough University-educated Balmain made 139 appearances for the Cherry and Whites since joining in 2017. He had been touted for a move to the Top 14 or Pro D2 in France but will instead remain in the English top flight and link up with Saracens.

The former Leicester Tigers ace, who has played England in an uncapped game against the Barbarians, only signed a new deal with Gloucester in March 2023 but will now move to London next month.

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Rassie Erasmus on Test at Twickenham

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Balmain played 17 times for Gloucester in their 2023/24 campaign and his last start came in their European Challenge Cup final defeat to the Sharks, the South African United Rugby Championship outfit, at Tottenham last month.

A 2013 Premiership final replacement for the Tigers, the club where he spent six seasons before joining Gloucester, Balmain will be a direct replacement for Christian Judge, who is heading off to the south of France to join Beziers.

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He will join fellow new signings Sam Spink from the Western Force, Wales loosehead Rhys Carre, Crusaders fly-half Fergus Burke and the Newcastle Falcons pair, loosehead Phil Brantingham and fly-half Louie Johnson, at the StoneX Stadium.

The signing of Balmain, who was released by Newcastle in 2010, will help alleviate concerns that Saracens have been making little headway with their recruitment drive in the last few weeks. RugbyPass understands that with the signing of Balmain, who once turned down an academy contract with Northampton, across the line that they have switched their attentions to signing a new lock

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It is also believed that they are looking for a winger after Sean Maitland and Alex Lewington’s retirements or a centre to cover for ACL injury victim Olly Hartley, but someone for the second row is the new priority.

 

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