Wray commits as Saracens set date to face Stormers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Credit: PA
Jackson Wray is the latest Saracens star to commit to life in the Championship next season.
The 29-year-old flanker has signed a new contract to keep him at Sarries until the summer of 2023.
Top England players like Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Mako Vunipola and Jamie George are already on board for Saracens’ stint in the second tier next term.
The club will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the pandemic-delayed campaign after being punished for salary cap breaches, but Wray is staying put.
“I love this club and I’m really pleased to have re-signed for the next three years,” Wray said.
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“I love being around the boys, around the club; it’s a proper family and a special place to be. I enjoy coming into the environment every day and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”
Wray graduated from Saracens’ academy in 2008, alongside Farrell, George, George Kruis and Will Fraser.
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The gritty back-rower is closing in on 250 club appearances following his debut in 2009, and rugby director Mark McCall hailed his importance to the Saracens set-up.
“The Saracens culture was built by people like Jackson – hard-working, resilient, someone that gives everything when he plays; a player at his best in the club’s biggest moments,” said McCall.
“We are excited that Jackson has committed to the club and will continue to set an example for the next generation, on and off the field, of what it means to be a Saracen.”
The club have also confirmed they will host South African Super Rugby side the Stormers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next year.
England and British & Irish Lions stars Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje could come up against Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi in north London.
Saracens and Tottenham have committed to the fixture taking place in 2021, though a date is yet to be determined.
The Lions will tour South Africa in July and August 2021.
Saracens chairman Neil Golding said: “We see this game with the DHL Stormers, alongside our recent player announcements, as strong indicators of the club’s high ambitions.
“Despite the challenges that the club has experienced over this past season, everybody at the club, (the board, the players, coaches and support staff at the training ground, all commercial staff and all those supporting our considerable community programmes) is focused on setting our own high standards.”
Saracens have retained a host of their top England talents for next term despite their impending relegation to the second-tier Championship over Premiership salary cap breaches.
A blue-chip fixture against one of South Africa’s top clubs could allow their England contingent some important fine-tuning, whenever the match ends up being scheduled.
“We want to continue to provide our supporters with fantastic experiences and lasting memories and a game against the DHL Stormers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would certainly deliver that,” said Golding.
Head coach John Dobson admitted the Stormers are excited by the challenge.
“Saracens are one of the top club teams in the world and renowned for their innovation and forward-thinking on and off the pitch, which this match is another good example of,” said Dobson.
“This trip would give our players the chance to test themselves against a quality team in a world-class venue, and we are very much looking forward to being able to be part of this.”