Thursday’s decision by Jack Singleton to sign permanently for Gloucester has generated a spiral of questions and theories regarding the future of other players – including Ben Earl – who are out on loan this season from Saracens, the club automatically relegated from the Premiership for repeated salary cap breaches.
The England hooker arrived at Saracens in 2019 from Worcester Warriors and he initially only joined Gloucester this season on loan after the London club sought to reduce its budget following their demotion.
The three-cap England international was one of a number of players to leave Saracens on loan: Earl and Max Malins went to Bristol Bears, Nick Isiekwe moved to Northampton Saints, Nick Tompkins joined Dragons, Alex Lozowski made the move to France to join Montpellier while Alex Goode joined Japan’s NEC Green Rockets.
Of course, the expectation was for all these players to return at the end of this season, but there are concerns online that Singleton may not be the only player to stay on at their current loan club.
Malins and Earl are two players at the forefront of such Saracens speculation, with the pair settling into life at Ashton Gate very well. The full-back has been capped by England since making the move, while Earl is becoming a regular member of Eddie Jones’ national team.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 17, 2020
However, it has been raised that Singleton was facing the prospect of being Saracens’ second or third choice hooker behind Jamie George and Tom Woolstencroft. He will undoubtedly have the desire to reignite his international career, in which his last cap came in September 2019, so staying at Kingsholm may be the best move to facilitate that.
Meanwhile, the majority of the other players out on loan are set to be consistent starters for the three-time European champions when they return with many of them even signing new long-term contracts before embarking on their loan spells.
The circumstances around Singleton appear to be slightly different from the other loanees, but those involved with Saracens will hope he has not started a stay-away trend.
Makes sense. 3rd choice at Sarries, yet another academy product having to go. https://t.co/EMOP3GIANE
— | Josh Ward | (@jward67) December 17, 2020
Woolstencroft far more versatile and offers more in the loose so would be our 2nd choice. If he has England aspirations then I can’t blame him
— Luca ?? (@Luca15_) December 17, 2020
How many more lone players might do the same that's the question!!!
— steve tookey (@tookmyster) December 17, 2020
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