Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje & Billy Vunipola Offered Saracens Escape Route As Club Declares Interest
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England internationals Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola have been offered an escape route from Saracens as the reigning Premiership champions prepare for relegation.
Premiership Rugby announced over the weekend that the three-time European champions will be relegated at the end of the season following their failure to comply with the salary cap once again this season.
After their win against Racing 92 yesterday, Saracens boss Mark McCall said it was the “end of an era” with a number of players now set to move on as the club looks to get their books in order.
Of course, there are going to be changes,” said McCall.
“There’s no doubt the bunch of players we’ve got in our squad now aren’t going to be the same bunch of players we have in the Championship next year. That’s for sure.
“In many ways, this is the end of that era that dates back to the start of 2009. We have got some time to plan for a new era, a new journey, and that is the optimistic way of looking at it.”
And it looks like three of their biggest stars have already been offered an escape route to avoid playing Championship rugby next season.
According to The Rugby Paper, Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola are all wanted by French side Lyon who are on a mission to recruit some top names ahead of next season having already reportedly sounded out Johnny Sexton about a move.
The report also adds that leading player agents said the RFU will evoke the exceptional circumstances rule to allow Saracens’ England internationals to play wherever they like next season.
“It was Saracens getting into a financial mess that is leading to them being relegated and nothing to do with the players,” he said.
“All the English clubs have spent the majority of their money for next season already. The player shouldn’t be punished twice if they are forced abroad.”