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Premiership

Saracens confirm big name departure

Leaves at the end of season.

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Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Saracens can confirm Schalk Burger will leave the club at the end of the season.

A Rugby World Cup winner and the 2004 World Player of the Year, the 35-year-old Springbok leaves Allianz Park having made a great impact on and off the field.

He has enjoyed success in north London – the 2017 European Champions Cup a particular highlight for the South African – but his want to engage in conversation with the Sarries academy players to further their development has been clear for all to see.

A great man and an ambassador of the sport, Burger will head back to Cape Town when the 2018/19 campaign ends and with him he will take a lot of memories from his time at Saracens which he is extremely grateful for.

“I’m going to leave Saracens a happy man. I’ve made great friends here and that’s pretty much the standout feature,” he said.

“The way we go about enjoying rugby, enjoying spending time together, the trips I’ve had with the team and we’ve won a couple of trophies since I’ve been here too so I have a lot of great memories.

“In rugby you go through phases where you play well and don’t play well, but at the end of the day that’s the by-product. What you care about is the quality of the human and the quality of time we’ve spent together as a club.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone for taking not only me in but my whole family. We’ve had a lot of success on the field but what stands out is the friendships I’ve made off the field so a massive thank you to everyone involved.”

Director of Rugby Mark McCall added: “It has been a privilege to have Schalk at Saracens.

“He embodies many of the values we hold dear; competing in every moment, being a great teammate, leaving the club in a better place than you found it.

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Premiership

Wasps Make Ninth Summer Signing

Wasps have confirmed their ninth signing already this summer

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wasps have announced the signing of London Scottish lock Theo Vukasinovic for the 2019/20 season. 

The 22-year-old has played for both Loughborough Students and London Scottish having come through the London Irish Academy and he is delighted to have the chance to play in the Premiership next year.

“Making the move to the Premiership with such a well-renowned club as Wasps is a huge step for me in my rugby career. I can’t wait to test myself alongside and against some of the best players around,” he said.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has also commented on the move and believes that the club will be able to help him, and other young players develop.

“Theo is a talented young player with a lot of potential. He has impressed in the Championship week in week out and we believe, as we’ve seen with some other players like Ross Neal, Billy Searle, Ben Morris and Michael Le Bourgeois this season, we can aid his development to try and become a Premiership player,” he said.

The announcement comes a day after the club confirmed that seven academy players have signed first-team deals with the club.

Tom Willis, Gabriel Oghre, Will Porter, Tim Cardell, Callum Sirker, Owain James and Sam Sprink are the players that have been confirmed and young is really happy to have the youthful players coming on board.

“We’re thrilled to see these lads come through the system and we’re really pleased with how they’ve performed across the competitions over the last 12 months,” he added.

The moves all add to Wasps intent on developing young players and it will be interesting to see how they get on next season.

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Premiership

WATCH: Move over Danny Cipriani, Francois Hougaard throws a flatter pill.

Some seriously good seeds here.

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Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

We’ve seen some absolutely amazing passes this season with the fair share coming from Gloucester’s Danny Cipriani but this pass from Worcester & former Springbok Scrum-Half Francois Hougaard might just take the crown for the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership Season.

Worcester took on Saracens on the weekend and this FLAT ball from Hougaard set up a fantastic blind-side try for the Warriors.

Check out some of the other ‘passes of the season’ below.

Straying outside of the Premiership, Connacht & Ireland Out-Half Jack Carty whipped this pill in the PRO14 clash against Ulster recently.

Some seriously good seeds.

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Premiership

London Irish Confirm 10th Summer Signing Already

London Irish have announced the arrival of yet another new player

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(Photo credit MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

London Irish have made their 10th signing of the summer already by confirming the arrival of Ruan Botha from the Sharks. 

The South African second-row, who has 64 Super Rugby appearances to his name as well as experience captaining the Sharks, joins on an initial six-month contract in which he will act as cover during the Rugby World Cup.

Once the six-months are up he will link-up with Japanese Top League side Kubota Spears before re-joining the Exiles for pre-season in June 2020 and preparing for the 2020/21 season.

Speaking ahead of the move the 27-year-old talked of how he delighted to be joining the club at a time when they are set to return to the Premiership.

“London Irish is entering an exciting period in its history and I am immensely proud to be joining at such an important time as they return to the Premiership. I look forward to meeting up with my teammates for pre-season,” he said.

Meanwhile, London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney is looking forward to the multiple qualities the massive lock brings with him.

“Ruan being available during the Rugby World Cup period is a major boost to us. He has a lot of top-class rugby experience and will also bring a lot more to the squad in terms of his leadership qualities,” he said.

Botha becomes the latest in a long list of stars to join the English outfit with Allan Dell, Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu, Paddy Jackson, Sean O’Brien, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona, Waisake Naholo and Will Goodrick-Clarke all signed up over the past few weeks. The club will be hoping that their good transfer work works a treat as they look to stay up upon their return to the top-tier.

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