Barritt set to bid goodbye to Saracens after extending stay until season’s end
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Former England centre Brad Barritt will leave Saracens at the end of the 2019-20 season, having agreed a contract extension to see out the delayed campaign.
The 33-year-old will be on hand to help the relegated north Londoners complete their Gallagher Premiership season and defend the Champions Cup.
The Men in Black face Irishmen Leinster – who they beat in last year’s final – in the quarter-finals of the European competition.
Barritt has racked up 257 Saracens appearances since joining the club in 2008, helping the Allianz Park outfit claim five Premiership and three European crowns.
“I’m excited and delighted to announce that I’ve signed a contract extension until the end of the 2019-20 season,” said the 26-cap Barritt.
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“But I’m also sadly going to announce that this will be my last season with Saracens.
“I have had an incredible stay here of 12 years. There have been so many memories, so many experiences, but sadly all good things must come to an end.”
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Scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth has also signed an extension to complete the season.
The 37-year-old is only four games away from his 250th appearance for Saracens, having helped them to their first Premiership title in 2011 and a host of honours since.
“It’s been brilliant to get sorted so we can finish the season off properly,” he said.
“I’m gutted for the lads that don’t get that. I’m lucky enough to have that goal at the end of the season and get to finish off the right way.
“I can’t wait to get into the team environment when we’re allowed to and say this is what we want to do, this is how we want to do it. Turning up, trying to get better is something I’ve missed and I’m sure the lads will be quite keen to get back and get going.”
Meanwhile, centre Nick Tompkins has agreed to spend next season on loan with Dragons Rugby before returning to Saracens.
The 25-year-old made his debut for Sarries in 2012 and played every fixture in 2018-19, scoring 11 tries as they defended their Premiership title and key scores on the way to a third European Champions Cup that year.
Tompkins, who has made 118 appearances for Saracens, added a try on his Wales debut in last season’s Six Nations and said: “I love this place, it’s my home. I wanted to sign my future here and make sure I can be here long-term.
“The friendships and bonds you make have been brilliant and also the working relationships I have with the coaches have been brilliant. They’ve made me the player I am.”
Director of Rugby Mark McCall added; “We are thrilled that Nick has confirmed his long-term commitment to stay at the club.
“As a youngster in our academy it was clear that Nick was a player of real potential and we have enjoyed watching hi mgrow and develop on the field and as a young man.
“As a club we’re delighted that Nick has chosen to continue to realise his potential with Saracens.”
The 21-year-old Sean Reffell is another young player to commit to Saracens, having shown great potential in his 19 appearances for the first team to date.
The England under-18 and under-20 international said: “I’ve been here since the start of my career. Instantly as soon as I was offered a contract I was very pleased.
“This is the best place to develop as a player. The coaches are always on hand trying to mould you into a Saracens player and always there to help you
“It’s a great opportunity for us as a team to come together next year. Everyone wants to help each other and I want to be a part of a team in the future that does that.”
Saracens have also announced the signing of the 26-year-old tight-head prop Alec Clarey from Jersey Reds.
Clarey has spent the last three seasons with the Channel Island club in the Championship and helped them to a best-ever finish of fourth place in 2018-19.
And he follows current Sarries prop Richard Barrington, who joined from Jersey in 2013 and has made 188 appearances so far.
“I’m over the moon, I’m proper buzzing. It’s a dream come true like everyone else says,” Clarey told the club website.
“It was a massive thing for Saracens to say they wanted me. I’m looking to take this opportunity and just do the best I can with it.
“Nothing else is going to come like this in your life so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
McCall added: “Alec is an experienced Championship prop who had an outstanding season last year. We’re excited about his potential and are looking forward to working with him.
“The Championship is the perfect breeding ground for front row forwards and hopefully Alec can emulate others who have arrived at our club from this competition and become top Premiership players.”