England stars could be lured to France and Japan, Saracen boss warns
England’s stars could be tempted abroad by higher salary offers in France and Japan, Saracen boss Mark McCall warns after Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie left Exeter to join Montpellier
- Leading players in the English Premiership could be tempted by moves abroad
- Club in France’s TOP14 can offer higher salaries without a strict salary cap
- Exeter couple Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie will join Montpellier in 2023
- Wales captain Dan Biggar and England’s Jack Willis have also moved to France
- Saracens rugby director Mark McCall has admitted more could leave England
Saracens rugby director Mark McCall has admitted his England stars could be tempted by moves abroad as the money on offer in France and Japan is becoming increasingly difficult for players to ignore.
McCall’s side host an Exeter side on Saturday who have already lost two of their English contingents – Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie – to Montpellier.
Simmonds and Cowan-Dickie will break into the TOP14 after the 2023 World Cup. Wales captain Dan Biggar and England backer Jack Willis have also joined France this season.
Saracen’s director of rugby Mark McCall believes more top players could leave English rugby
Sam Simmonds (left) will leave Exeter and join Montpellier after next year’s World Cup
And with all 11 Gallagher Premiership clubs required to work within a strict salary cap, more players are likely to leave English rugby.
Saracens and England star Maro Itoje is set to be out of contract at the end of the season and team-mate Owen Farrell has yet to officially commit his long-term future to his youth team.
McCall has seen hooker Jamie George and back Elliot Daly sign contract extensions.
Billy and Mako Vunipola signed new deals with the Saracens in December 2021 but their future after the World Cup remains uncertain.
Luke Cowan-Dickie has also signed for Montpellier, which is part of a growing trend of players leaving
McCall would like his entire English contingent to stay but said: “I wouldn’t say it’s out of the realm of possibility that some would want to do that (move abroad).
“We will cross this bridge when we reach it. We need to make sure the salary cap works like everyone else. As players progress through our academy, we want them to spend the rest of their careers with us.
“If we overspend elsewhere we will lose those players and the future of the club too.”
The Saracens suffered a surprise Premiership defeat at London Irish before Christmas – their first of the season – and will look to bounce back against Rob Baxter’s Chiefs.
Owen Farrell has yet to devote his long-term future to Saracens, which is where he came through
In-form flanker Ben Earl was sent off at Irish but will make his 100th Saracens appearance against Exeter after his red card for a dangerous tackle was dismissed by a judiciary.
Earl is on the bench but George and Itoje both return to McCall’s starting XI after recovering from a concussion and a heel injury respectively.
Saracen’s flanker Theo McFarland is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
Exeter are without Simmonds and Cowan-Dickie but England support Jack Nowell and Henry Slade starts.
Saracen’s flanker Theo McFarland is out for the remainder of the season
“This is the ultimate test,” said Exeter boss Baxter of his team’s latest challenge. “They (Saracens) have been the most consistent team in the Premiership this season.
“It shows how consistent they have been to be so far ahead when everyone else is just one win apart. The good thing for us is that we are in this chasing group.
“We have to be good to get something. We can’t have spots in the middle third of the pitch where we lose direction, lose territory or give up soft penalties like we did against Bath last week. We have to be better and more energetic than last week.
“I want to get some real consistency behind us and start climbing further up the table.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-11587735/England-stars-tempted-France-Japan-warns-Saracens-chief.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 England stars could be lured to France and Japan, Saracen boss warns