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Saracens name a 34-year-old veteran as 'one of our best signings'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Saracens boss Mark McCall has praised the enormous impact that ex-Scotland lock Tim Swinson has made at the club since coming out of retirement last year. The 34-year-old had opted to retire after his contract at Glasgow elapsed in 2020 but he went on to sign for the Londoners just six days after hanging up his boots. 


He has since become a cornerstone of their pack, initially bedding in during the resumed 2019/20 post-lockdown campaign and then going on to win the players’ player of the year award at the end of their Championship-winning season last June. By that time he was set to retire again only to agree to another one-year deal taking him through to the end of this season’s 2021/22 Premiership.

“Tim has been remarkable,” enthused McCall, the long-serving Saracens coach. “He actually had retired when we asked him to come out of retirement to help us in the Championship year. We thought our younger players needed a wise old head like him.

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Chris Robshaw guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload
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“He was voted our players’ player of the year at the end of the Championship year, which is an achievement that all the players want because you are voted by the players and he won it by a landslide. And he has continued that form this year. 

“He does all the things that people don’t see. A great mauler, great maul defender, brilliant scrummager. You know what you are getting from Tim all of the time. He is one of those players you can count on all the time and he is a hugely popular member of the squad. In lots of ways one of our best signings over the last couple of years.”

It was last week when Swinson, in an exclusive interview with RugbyPass, explained why he fitted in so well at Saracens and why his game-cancelling high jinx with the Barbarians wasn’t going to prevent him from being a success at the club he supported as a young boy. “The basics are working hard and that is something I found quite easy to do, to keep going. I feel like once you start working hard, everything else falls into place. Although the Saracens players are extremely good and it can be quite an intimidating environment when you are new, I felt very lucky to have this opportunity to be with this team.


“I had not enjoyed rugby for a year or two-year period (at Glasgow) and felt ready to move on with my next challenge, but I am really grateful for the opportunity to come down here. It was a club I supported in my childhood, I played with some of the coaches and it would be too good an opportunity to turn down. It highlights also why I chose to stay (another year), that it is an opportunity that is a really good end to my career, to really enjoy rugby and playing.”


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