Tuesday 28 February 2017

Burger agrees two-year deal with Saracens

Duncan Bech

South Africa's Schalk Burger will be joining Saracens on a two-year deal from next season Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
South Africa's Schalk Burger will be joining Saracens on a two-year deal from next season Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

South Africa flanker Schalk Burger has agreed to join Aviva Premiership champions Saracens on a two-year deal that expires in 2018.

Burger, a veteran of four World Cups and a winner of the sport's greatest prize in 2007, will arrive at Allianz Park next season upon completion of spells at Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath and Super Rugby province Stormers.

The 32-year-old back row - a key player for South Africa during their march to the semi-finals at England 2015 - has been capped 86 times and was world player of the year in 2004.

"I'm delighted to be joining Saracens. I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity to play in both the Premiership and European Cup for such a special club," said Burger.

"It's an exciting challenge for me and my family and hopefully I can add a lot of value on and off the field to an already successful group of players and coaches."

Elsewhere, James Haskell has insisted that signing a new contract at Wasps was a formality due to his determination to continue playing for England.

Haskell has extended his second spell at the club knowing that leaving the Aviva Premiership would exclude him from international selection because of the Rugby Football Union's overseas player rule.

The versatile back row spent three years playing in France, Japan and New Zealand and while the lure of broadening his horizons once more was strong, it was the Ricoh Arena that offered the best stage on which to realise his ambitions.

"The prospect of playing for England is why I work as hard as I do," Haskell explained.

Irish Independent

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