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Saracens statement: Mark McCall to take 'break' as director of rugby

By Liam Heagney
Mark McCall /PA

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Mark McCall, the long-serving director of rugby at Saracens, is to take a break from his role at the Gallagher Premiership club. The Irishman, who joined the Londoners in 2009 as an assistant, has been in charge since midway through the 2010/11 season but he will now temporarily step away from that position.

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A Saracens statement read: “For medical reasons, Mark McCall will be taking a short break from being director of rugby at Saracens. People will always come first at our club and Mark will be given all of the support and time he needs.

“Meanwhile, we would ask that everyone respects Mark’s privacy. Mark is obviously more than confident in the coaching team he has worked with for many years to temporarily take the reins.”

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Saracens vs Bristol Bears – The Showdown 2
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Saracens vs Bristol Bears – The Showdown 2

McCall appeared at his regular weekly media briefing on Wednesday where he fielded an avalanche of questions on the operation that has forced club skipper Owen Farrell to miss the entire Guinness Six Nations campaign with England. 

Saracens then named their latest team around noon on Friday – they are taking on Wasps away in the latest round of the Premiership this Sunday – and it was just a few hours later when the dramatic news emerged that McCall won’t be involved for the next period of time.

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It was April 2021 when Saracens announced that they had agreed to a contract extension with McCall that would take him through at the club until the end of the 2024/25 season. He went on after that latest renewal to guide them to their Championship title success in June and their first season back in the Premiership currently has them placed second with eight wins and a draw from their twelve matches so far.

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Speaking on Wednesday about the latest injury setback to affect Saracens and England skipper Farrell, McCall said: “Everyone is massively disappointed for Owen. He has surgery this morning so recovery starts from now.

“The big thing is Owen himself was hugely disappointed to miss the Six Nations but the one thing that players crave is a bit of certainty and the certainty that the operation gives him and the surgery gives him is great in lots of ways and we hope to have him back in around eight to ten weeks.”

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