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Saracens release full 39-man squad list and 9 departures

PA

Saracens have confirmed its squad for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign and the 2020/21 Championship season. Fourteen senior players have signed new contracts beyond the 2020/21 season.

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England and British & Irish Lions internationals Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Maro Itoje have all penned new deals meaning all six of Saracens’ England 2019 Rugby World Cup final starters (including Billy and Mako Vunipola) have committed their long-term future to the club.

Scotland wing Sean Maitland and fellow flyer Alex Lewington have both extended for two years while lock Callum Hunter-Hill made his move from Edinburgh Rugby permanent, signing for three years.

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Academy graduates Dom Morris and Ralph Adams-Hale have committed themselves until 2022 and 2023 respectively, and five further players pledged their future to the Men in Black before heading out on loan.

Ben Earl and Max Malins re-signed ahead of joining Bristol Bears for a year and Nick Isiekwe signed for Northampton Saints on a season-long loan after agreeing a new deal until 2024.

Wales centre Nick Tompkins will continue his international ambitions with a campaign at the Dragons and fellow midfielder Alex Lozowski will play in the Top 14 with Montpellier.

Mike Rhodes has extended his contract for another year while captain Brad Barritt and club stalwart Richard Wigglesworth have both signed short-term deals until the end of the 2019/20 season.

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Six players have graduated from the Senior Academy.

Manu Vunipola, Andy Christie, Elliott Obatoyinbo Sean Reffell and Joel Kpoku have penned long-term contracts with the Men in Black and are now part of the Senior Squad. Kapeli Pifeleti has also made the transition.

The sextet have 97 first-team appearances between them to date.

Seven new faces will be part of the Sarries squad moving forward.

Wales scrum-half Aled Davies bolsters Mark McCall’s options at nine and Scotland’s Tim Swinson has been lured out of retirement.

USA Eagle Will Hooley and former Newcastle Falcons back Juan Pablo Socino add Championship experience to the squad as do centre Harry Sloan and Jersey duo Alec Clarey and Janco Venter.

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Nine first-team players have left the club.

After 12 years in north London, George Kruis leaves for a new challenge in Japan with Panosonic Wild Knights while Ben Spencer’s nine-year stay has ended with a move to Bath Rugby.

Liam Williams (Scarlets) and Academy graduate Matt Gallagher (Munster) will ply their trade in the Pro14 next term as will Rhys Carre who has returned to boyhood club Cardiff Blues. Joe Gray, Titi Lamositele and Will Skelton have signed with Harlequins, Montpellier and La Rochelle respectively.

Viliami Hakalo has left Saracens following the end of his contract.

FULL SENIOR SQUAD LIST
Props
Alec Clarey
Eroni Mawi
Josh Ibuanokpe
Mako Vunipola
Ralph Adams-Hale
Richard Barrington
Vincent Koch

Hookers
Jamie George
Kapeli Pifeleti
Tom Woolstencroft

Locks
Callum Hunter-Hill
Joel Kpoku
Maro Itoje
Tim Swinson

Back Row
Andy Christie
Billy Vunipola
Calum Clark
Jackson Wray
Janco Venter
Mike Rhodes
Sean Reffell

Scrum-Halves
Aled Davies
Alex Day
Richard Wigglesworth*
Tom Whiteley

Fly-Halves
Manu Vunipola
Owen Farrell
Will Hooley

Centres
Brad Barritt*
Dom Morris
Duncan Taylor
Elliot Daly
Harry Sloan
Juan Pablo Socino

Back Three
Alex Goode
Alex Lewington
Ali Crossdale
Elliott Obatoyinbo
Rotimi Segun
Sean Maitland

DEPARTURES
Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby)
George Kruis (Panosonic Wild Knights)
Joe Gray (Harlequins)
Liam Williams (Scarlets)
Matt Gallagher (Munster)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues)
Titi Lamositele (Montpellier)
Viliami Hakalo (Retired)
Will Skelton (La Rochelle)

LOANS RETURNING FOR 2021/22 CAMPAIGN
Alex Lozowski (Montpellier)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears)
Jack Singleton (Gloucester)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears)
Nick Isiekwe (Northampton Saints)
Nick Tompkins (Dragons)

* Brad Barritt and Richard Wigglesworth have signed until the end of the 2019/20 Premiership Rugby campaign

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Shaylen 2 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 8 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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