Championship campaign will be good chance for Saracens youngsters to shine – Clark

Saracens Calum Clark is tackled by Ospreys Alun Wyn Jones during the Heineken Champions Cup pool fou

Saracens Calum Clark is tackled by Ospreys Alun Wyn Jones during the Heineken Champions Cup pool four match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Calum Clark feels the Championship will be a good platform for Saracens youngsters to show their talent next season.

Clark, 31, is one of the latest players to extend their stay with the north London club, signing a one-year deal, and is looking forward to a tough challenge in the second tier.

“Next year is a really important one for the group and the club,” he told

“It will be a tough league and tough ask to go and perform well and get ourselves back up. It won’t be straight forward and will be a different challenge to what most people are used to.

“But it’s the first step of rebuilding the club and hopefully gettnig back to where we want to be.

“When you put it in the context of the bigger picture, it’s a chance of the organisation to rebuild and it’s going to be a really important year for the future.

“It’s obviously important for next year, but what happens the years following. It’s a really important foundation year to move on.”

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The likes of Manu Vunipola, Joel Kpoku, Sean Reffell, Dom Morris and Ralph Adams-Hale have all signed long-term deals at Saracens and will play a key part next term.

And Clark says it will be vital for the younger players, adding: “It’s a great opportunity for them. The Championship has always been a great place for young players to get game time and play.

“It’ll be great for them to be exposed to regular, consistent rugby where they are being challenged and playing against seasoned, quality professionals.

“I’m really excited about the young group we’ve got and where we can grow and improve. Hopefully getting exposure to that level will be great for their future and development and I’m really excited to see the impact they’ll have.”

Hooker Tom Woolstencroft, 25, has signed a new two-year contract at Saracens, having featured 34 times since joining from London Irish in 2018.

And fly-half Manu Vunipola also extended his stay with the club until 2023, having made his first-team debut aged 18 and gone on to make 21 appearances to date.

“It was an easy decision,” he said. “It has been an awesome season for me with the game time I’ve had and the opportunities the coaches have given me has been amazing.”