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Saracens urge England to sort hybrid deals 'as quickly as possible'

By PA
Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Owen Farrell of England sing the anthem ahead of the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between England and South Africa at Stade de France on October 21, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Maro Itoje and Jamie George have yet to be offered finalised hybrid contracts by England amid an appeal from Saracens boss Mark McCall to speed up the process.

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Itoje and current England captain George have agreed new deals with the Gallagher Premiership champions on the understanding their salaries would be topped up by the Rugby Football Union.

However, the RFU’s plan to issue 25 hybrid contracts worth £150,000 per season each as part of the new Professional Game Agreement appears to have stalled.

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McCall revealed that Itoje and George – the only two players offered the deals so far – are still waiting to put pen to paper with a continued delay having possible repercussions on recruitment for next season.

“It’s fair to say that an agreement has been reached between them, the club and the RFU in principle,” director of rugby McCall said.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Bath
12 - 15
Full-time
Saracens
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“But as far as I know no contract has actually been signed by either of those two players.

“The sooner all that can get done, the better for everybody. It’s pretty important that it gets sorted as quickly as possible.”

McCall was unable to provide any clarity on the futures of Billy and Mako Vunipola, who are expected to join French clubs next season, but revealed that former England centre Alex Lozowski is due back imminently from a knee injury.

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Lozowski has been out since November but should be involved in Saracens’ final push to finish in the play-offs.

“Alex is training fully now. He’s not available against Bath on Friday I don’t think, but will be available for our last two games,” McCall said.

“It’s going to be a six-month recovery period, there or thereabouts, which is probably a little bit ahead of where he might have been. To get that option back towards the end of the season is great.”

Centre Olly Hartley is facing a lengthy spell out after suffering significant knee damage against Gloucester on Saturday.

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