Saracens F.C.

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Saracens
Saracens FC logo.svg
Full name Saracens Football Club
Union Rugby Football Union
Nickname(s) Sarries, The Men in Black, Wolf Pack, Fez-Boys
Founded 1876; 138 years ago (1876)
Location London, England[1]
Ground(s) Allianz Park (Capacity: 10,000)
Chairman Nigel Wray
Coach(es) Mark McCall
Captain(s) Alistair Hargreaves
Most caps Kris Chesney
321 (Premiership)
Top scorer Glen Jackson
1505 (Premiership)
Most tries Richard Haughton
55 (Premiership)
League(s) Aviva Premiership
2013–14 1st (playoff finalist)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.saracens.com

Saracens are a professional rugby union team based in London,[1] England – although they formerly played their home games at Vicarage Road, in Watford. The team returned to London during the 2012–13 season, when they relocated to their newly built and renovated Allianz Park. They are currently members of the Aviva Premiership, the top level of domestic rugby union in England. Now incorporated as Saracens Ltd, the club was established in 1876 as the Saracens Football Club.

As well as competing in the Aviva Premiership, Saracens take part in the LV= Cup and European rugby cups. The club's colours are black and red.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Saracens were founded in 1876 by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone, London (later to become St Marylebone Grammar School). Saracens amalgamated with neighbouring club Crusaders two years later. In 1892 Saracens moved from Crown Lane, Southgate, to Firs Farm, Winchmore Hill then played on nine different grounds before the move to Bramley Road[2] for the 1939–40 season (although the Second World War actually prevented them from playing there until 1945).

The club's name is said to come from the "endurance, enthusiasm and perceived invincibility of Saladin's desert warriors of the 12th century". The fact that their local rivals were called the Crusaders may also have been a factor.[3] The Crescent and Star appearing in the club's emblem are reminiscent of those appearing on the Flag of Turkey.

After their inaugural match against Blackheath they had to wait another nine years before Harlequins offered to include them on their fixture list. Saracens found it difficult to get games against first class sides as the facilities at Bramley Road were so poor.

The club produced a number of internationals in pre-league era, such as hooker John Steeds who won five caps for England from 1949 to 1950, Vic Harding a lock also for England from 1961 to 1962 and George Sheriff an England back-rower from 1966 to 1967.

The club enjoyed fixtures with the leading clubs for many years and enjoyed a particularly successful time in the 1970s when they reached the semi-finals of the National Cup (now the LV= Cup). Special games played at Bramley Road during this period include the 1971 match against a select International XV. It was a fantastic occasion, as a 5,000 strong crowd (the largest ever to watch a rugby union game in North London at the time) came to watch a magnificent contest, ending Saracens 34 International XV 34.

1976 was Saracens Centenary year.[4]

Mel Williams captained the team in the mid seventies to a record number of wins in a season,[citation needed] which has not been achieved by another team to date,[citation needed] and Clint McGregor was later to go on England rugby union tour of Argentina, Denis Sanders also represented Eastern Counties.

This Saracens team also won the Middlesex Cup [4] beating rivals Wasps in the final.

The Courage leagues[edit]

After some bleak years in the early 1980s, the club responded to the challenge of the Courage Leagues, and with Floyd Steadman as captain and Tony Russ as coach, they won the second division in 1989 with a 100% record. The next year in the first division they surprised many by finishing fourth in the league behind Wasps, Gloucester and Bath.

But within the space of two years, Saracens had lost Leonard to Harlequins, Ryan to Wasps and Clarke to Bath and they were fast becoming a nursery for the more prestigious clubs. The 1992–93 season saw the leagues restructured with Saracens, along with three other clubs, being relegated to the second division. In 1993–94 Saracens finished third and narrowly missed out on promotion but the following year they finished as champions and were again back in the top flight. Former player David Wellman was given the task to re brand Saracens. He gave former player Mike Smith the remit to take Saracens professional. A benefactor was required in order to improve the ground and playing staff. Alas Saracens' seesaw existence over the nineties was about to continue in 1995–96 when they again found themselves at the wrong end of the table along with West Hartlepool but they were saved by their new CEO Mike Smith, who persuaded the RFU that there should be no relegation for the first season of professional rugby.

The professional era[edit]

1996–2000[edit]

In November 1995 Saracens gained the financial backing of Nigel Wray and this enabled the club to recruit the likes of Michael Lynagh, Philippe Sella, Francois Pienaar and Kyran Bracken. Saracens moved again to Enfield F.C.'s ground, Southbury Road, and they started the new season with a victory over title favourites Leicester but only finished seventh just missing out on Heineken Cup qualification.

The Saracens at a home match

The 1997–98 season, was a landmark year. They began a ground share with Watford FC and their 22,000 all seater Vicarage Road Stadium. The agreement ran until February 2013, when Saracens relocated to Barnet Copthall.

The appointment of a Marketing Director saw Saracens splashed all over the broadsheets, tabloids, magazines and TV and with the help of a small band of be-fezzed followers that had been following the club for a number of years, "the year of the Fez"[clarification needed] began.

Close season signings like Danny Grewcock, Roberto Grau, Gavin Johnson and Ryan Constable joined forces with the home grown talent of Tony Diprose, Richard Hill and Steve Ravenscroft to form a side that would prove a significant force during the season losing only three games during the season to finish second in the Premiership, missing out narrowly to Newcastle, another club that had embraced the changes that the professional game had brought. Newcastle haven't repeated this success since.

Consolation for missing out on the league title came in the then principal domestic cup competition, the Tetley Bitter Cup. Saracens beat Wasps 48–18 in the cup final at Twickenham, in doing so equalling Bath's cup-final record score of 48 points. Their run had included a 59-point win over Blackheath, a 14–13 victory over Leicester, a quarter final 36–30 win over a Richmond, followed by a victory over Northampton. It was the first major silverware that Saracens had won in their 122-year history. The game was also notable for being the last competitive game for two legends of the sport, Lynagh and Sella; some years later these same two players became the inaugural members of Saracen's Hall of Fame.

After a solid start to 1998–99 season, Saracens were rocked in December when they lost to third from bottom London Scottish in a shock defeat at home, but a win against Bedford and West Hartlepool and a draw with Wasps still saw them in touch with leaders Leicester. The second half of the season was a roller coaster ride with Saracens going from eighth and out of European contention after a run of four loses, to eventually finishing third as London's top club.

The 1999–2000 season saw more big name players move to Vicarage Road with Mark Mapletoft, Thierry Lacroix, Scott Murray and Dan Luger joining the club along with Darragh O'Mahony and the up-and-coming Julian White. With the squad ravaged by World Cup duty and then injury the club's first attempt at the Heineken Cup was not a happy one. They lost three games by a couple of points in the last seconds of the game and didn't make the quarter finals.

With a few games left they were looking at a possible failure to qualify for Europe again, but Kyran Bracken returned from a ten-month injury to inspire Saracens into fourth place and Heineken Cup qualification.

2000–06[edit]

2000–01 saw another difficult start to the season. By October Saracens had effectively crashed out of the Heineken Cup with back to back defeats to Cardiff and with the team shorn of internationals due to the Autumn Tests the final blow was dealt when Thomas Castaignède suffered an Achilles tendon injury.

The results went downhill fast and a fifth place finish saw the club miss out on a Heineken Cup place.

The 2001–02 season brought many changes, with established players such as Luger, Grewcock, White, Wallace and, much to the consternation of his loyal fan club, Tony Diprose, all leaving the club. Further weakened with the news that Castaignède was likely to miss the whole of the coming season, Francois Pienaar, now in full control of coaching operations opted to make use of a crop of younger players coming through the club system.

After a reasonable start to the season Saracens found themselves in their by then accustomed top half of the table position but then the curse of the Autumn Internationals once again took its toll, and Saracens' performances weakened drastically. Entering the New Year Saracens were again flirting with relegation danger, and soon exited all cup competitions. With morale sinking Pienaar stepped down from his various roles with the club after a five-year stay.

Lacking a coach the senior players took charge, the moral problem seemed to have passed, but results remained sketchy and the Saracens ended up in a lowly 10th place.

All Black legend Wayne Shelford took over the coaching reins for the 2002–03 season, while the playing squad saw the arrival of the likes of Andy Goode, Christian Califano, Craig Quinnell amongst several signings of established players. In a repetition of the pattern of some of the preceding seasons, Saracens once again got off to a flying start, beating Bath and Bristol.

Once again though, sound defeats, this season administered by London rivals, Wasps and Irish, seemed to shatter the team's confidence, to such an extent that once again by early in the new year Saracens were once again uncomfortably close to the relegation zone, the only real success coming in an impressive run in the Parker Pen Cup.

The club once again rallied towards the tail end of the season, with victories over Bristol, and then high flying Sale securing a 5th place in the table that seemed unlikely at the turn of the year, and a place in the play off system for the remaining European Cup place. A comfortable win over fourth placed Leeds in the play off semi-final brought an astonishingly tight final against Leicester.

With temperatures soaring at Franklin's Gardens, 80 minutes was not enough to separate the teams, with a late rally by Saracens tying the scores at 20–20. Ultimately, a Neil Back try was to see Leicester through, but at least it appeared that Saracen's had rediscovered their fighting spirit.

The late rally was not enough to save Shelford, and he and most of the rest of the coaching staff paid the price for the weak season, being replaced by the experienced Australia and Leicester player, Rod Kafer, at that time a relative newcomer to a coaching roll, for the 2003–04 season. Key signings included Fijian Simon Raiwalui, former French captain Raphaël Ibañez, Springbok Cobus Visagie and All Black Taine Randell.

The change of faces did little to change the pattern of consistent inconsistency of previous seasons. Once again, the early rounds saw a false dawn as Saracens found themselves in the top three, and again the club coped badly with the international call-ups for the 2003 World Cup, once again finding themselves near the foot of the table. Only the long gap to bottom place Rotherham avoided any serious relegation danger. The victorious return of Richard Hill and Kyran Bracken from World Cup duty brought somewhat more upbeat performances for the second half of the season, but it still took a rare away victory at London Irish to claim the same 10th place of two seasons before.

2004–05 saw a bold strengthening of the squad, for once eschewing their cosmopolitan recruitment policy and securing mainly English based players, possibly with one eye on the effect that international call-ups had had in previous seasons. In came Kevin Yates, Iain Fullarton, Alex Sanderson, Dan Scarbrough and Hugh Vyvyan, while Matt Cairns returned to the club and Steve Diamond arrived at the club as forwards coach. Another signing who was to become a prominent part of the Saracens line up was fly half Glen Jackson from New Zealand.

The season got off to the best off all possible starts with Saracens scoring a victory over reigning champions Wasps at the first ever London 'Double Header' at Twickenham. Once again, Saracen's winter malaise struck, and after inconsistent performances, Diamond took over the coaching duties from Kafer. The New Year brought a string of convincing performances, and a long unbeaten run saw the club finish the season in the top half of the table, in fifth place.

Once again in the wild card system for a European Cup place, Worcester were comfortably beaten, setting up the chance to end the season where it had begun, back at Twickenham. A late try secured victory over Gloucester and a place in the next season's Heineken Cup was ensured.

There was further shuffling of the coaching pack in 2005–06 with Diamond becoming Director of Rugby and defensive coach Mike Ford taking over the front line coaching role. In a reversal of the previous seasons outcome Saracens lost their opening double-header game against Wasps, but unlike some previous seasons, this did not immediately trigger a run of bad results, and indeed until December Saracens progressed well. The Christmas season saw the start of a calamitous dip in form and going into the final months of the season the prospect of ending up in another relegation scrap seemed very real.

Diamond parted company with the club, with Ford taking over full control of the team, assisted by former Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones in a consulting role. Results improved, and an away win at Sale who were to be champions that season even brought the prospect of another Heineken cup place.

A few disappointing results at the end of the season took some of the shine off the improved run of form, with Saracens ending the season in 10th place. The seasons end also brought to a close the distinguished playing career of Kyran Bracken.

2006–07[edit]

Main article: Saracens F.C. 2006-07
Saracens mascot Sarrie the Camel

With Mike Ford being offered a role in the England set-up, former Leinster, Munster and Australia coach Alan Gaffney was appointed coach for the 2006 campaign. Amongst the new signings was South African, Neil de Kock, a player who was influential in the club's best season since 2000. Once again, Saracens were narrowly defeated by Wasps in the London double-header.

This was to be followed by what turned out to be a good away draw at Bristol in the context of the excellent season that Bristol would go on to have, before a bonus point win was secured against the Newcastle Falcons. A morale-boosting run of results followed, losing only three times between October and the following March. No individual result could quite produce the reaction that the return of England's Richard Hill to top flight action, with supporters of both clubs giving Hill a huge ovation on his return to the pitch after 18 months of knee reconstruction, capping off his comeback with a try.

This period also saw the long awaited arrival of former Great Britain Rugby League captain, Andy Farrell, initially at flanker, but later at centre, the position at which he went on to take his England debut.

With the prospect of a place in the Premiership play-offs becoming ever more real, Saracens were also progressing well in the European Challenge Cup. They qualified for the knockout stages as second seeds, with only an away draw at Glasgow spoiling their group stage progression. A further win at the quarter-final stage against Glasgow saw Saracens host Bath for the semi-final, only to lose to ultimate runners up of the competition.

Results in the Premiership went Saracens' way, leaving them with the possibility of ending up anywhere from second to fifth as the final round of matches approached. After a day of games almost all of which had significant consequences in terms of positions at the top, and at the foot of the table, Saracens found themselves in the Premiership playoffs for the first time, squeezing Wasps into a rare 5th place position, out of playoff contention.

The campaign was to end with a heavy defeat away at Gloucester, however, overall the season represented a significant advance on those of recent years. After the end of the season there was to be personal success for Glen Jackson, whose league topping 400 points for the season and consistent high-level performances almost every week saw him awarded the PRA Player of the Year Award by his fellow professionals. On a sadder note the mercurial Thomas Castaignède, one of the most enduringly popular players at the club decided to bring his club rugby career to an end after providing many years of entertaining rugby at its best both for Saracens and France.

2007–08[edit]

Main article: Saracens F.C. 2007-08

Preparation for the 2007–08 seasons saw somewhat less activity in comings and goings from the squad, reflecting the relatively solid 2006–07 season. Among signings to date, specialist cover for Glen Jackson came in the form of Scotland fly half Gordon Ross, while South African utility back Brent Russell was highly regarded by many Springbok fans.

The most spectacular signing though was that of All Black second row Chris Jack, widely regarded as the world's best in his position, who joined Saracens after the 2007 World Cup. In addition to his all-round game, Saracens hoped that Jack would bring some solidity to a Saracens' line-out which was one of the areas where they were consistently pressured in the previous season.

The loss of Glen Jackson and Brent Russell for the opening of the season due to pre-season injuries represented a significant blow to the club, but nonetheless the season began well with a return to winning ways against Wasps in the opening day London double-header. Defeat at the first home game by early pace setters Gloucester brought the team down to earth, before a solid away win at struggling Leeds, revenge for the previous season's home and away defeats away at Worcester, and a win back at Vicarage Road over Leicester. Defensive frailties saw Saracens go into the Autumn Premiership break for cup matches third in the table, but also with the third worst defensive record, after a defeat away at Sale.

The first round of cup competition saw Saracens win comfortably away at Leeds in the EDF Energy Cup, despite conceding four tries. Another bonus point win over Bristol back at Vicarage Road positioned Saracens well with maximum points ahead of a difficult away trip to Llanelli. Turning to Europe, Saracens' return to Heineken Cup action also saw the return of Glasgow Warriors to Vicarge Road. As in the two European Challenge Cup home games against the same team in the previous season, Saracens ran out bonus point winners, albeit not without defensive frailties causing anxious moments going into the final minutes of the game. The following weekend Saracens lost out by a single point against Biarritz Olympique being denied by a penalty scored from the half-way line in the dying moments of the match.

The brief return to Guinness Premiership action at the end of November saw Saracens come out top in a tight battle at home against London Irish, with the lead changing hands several times. Cup action in the form of the final round of EDF Energy Cup pool stage games, where Saracens failed once again to win away in Wales, but taking a losing bonus point and a try bonus too was enough to see them qualify for the semi-final stage for the first time in their Anglo-Welsh cup history, ahead of their opponents Llanelli Scarlets. Further progress was then made in the Heineken Cup in an impressive ten try to one defeat of Viadana at home in a game which saw the first team debuts for Chris Jack and Brent Russell. Viadana almost took their revenge in the return fixture the following week, where Saracens conceded a 26–3 half time lead to the Italians, before showing composure in the second half to score 31 unanswered points and take the win that would see them enter the New Year at the head of their Heineken Cup pool.

The return to premiership action over Christmas and the New Year began well for Saracens with a win away at London rivals Harlequins, however once again defensive weakness and coming out of the blocks slowly saw Saracens take only a losing bonus point from their final fixture of 2007 in the Premiership, though it was enough to see them go into the New Year in third place in the domestic league.

The buildup to the first game of 2008 was dominated by talk away from the field of play, with the news that former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones was to succeed Alan Gaffney at the top of the coaching subject with Gaffney adopting the same consulting role Jones had been providing, whilst rumours of substantial cash investment from South African rugby interests abounded. When the focus returned to on-field matters Saracens suffered a second successive defeat in the Premiership, this time away at Bristol, failing even to take a losing bonus point for the first time in any competition in the season and raising fears of the all too familiar Saracens' winter slump.

2009–10[edit]

The arrival of Brendan Venter to the head coach role sparked major controversy. The arrival of a number of South Africans to the squad caused the club to be strongly criticised as they were seen to be swaying away from being an English club. Some even began calling the club "Saffracens", due to their strong South African links (Saffa being slang for South African).

This didn't stop Saracens going on a 10-match unbeaten run at the start of the domestic season which saw a wins over London Irish (at Twickenham in the London Double Header), Northampton (at Wembley), London Wasps and Bath.

On 16 November a Derick Hougaard drop goal saw a one-point win over South Africa at Wembley.

27 December saw Saracens lose away to London Irish, which was their first defeat of the domestic league competition, having had one draw and two losses in all competitions before this date. What followed was five defeats in the next six games; Leicester, Wasps, Bath and Leeds Carnegie all defeated Saracens, accompanied with being knocked out of the Amlin Challenge Cup despite losing only one match.

The post-Christmas slump in form for Saracens looked all too familiar. Yet a change in playing style and having found a new sense of attacking rugby, Sarries stopped the rot with a 58–15 drubbing of struggling Newcastle. From then on, they went on to win four out the five matches played, including impressive wins away to Sale, Northampton and table-topping Leicester Tigers.

This drastic change in form secured Saracens' Guinness Premiership Semi-Final spot in a respectable 3rd place and now faced Northampton Saints, the fifth time this season, away at Franklin's Gardens looking to end a streak of 6 semi-final losses in all competitions in the last 3 years. Saracens defeated Northampton 21–19 in an all-mighty clash, with Glen Jackson ensuring that Sarries reached their first final since 1998 with a late kick, converting Schalk Brits's driving-maul try.

The 2010 Guinness Premiership Final at Twickenham, pitted Saracens against the eight-time and reigning English Champions, Leicester Tigers. In a pulsating game of rugby, Leicester sneaked Saracens to a 33–27 win with a late try to Dan Hipkiss providing the difference after Saracens flyhalf Glen Jackson had kicked what looked to be the winning penalty with only a few minutes left. Heartbreak for Sarries and their fans, but it just wasn't to be a fairy-tale ending for a remarkable season.

The final also marked the last match for a number of players including Fabio Ongaro, Matías Agüero, former All Black Justin Marshall and loyal fly-half Glen Jackson.

2010–11: Premiership champions[edit]

Saracens opened the 2010–11 season with a loss to London Irish in the opener of the London Double Header at Twickenham, Following the loss, their form improved as they ran off four wins in succession before a shock loss to Premiership new-comers Exeter Chiefs. They crashed out of the Heineken Cup in the pool stage, finishing bottom of a tough pool that featured Leinster, the ultimate Heineken Cup winners, and Clermont and Racing Métro, both of which made the French semi-finals. Saracens' domestic form, however, proved much stronger; they secured a home semi-final with one league match left, defeating Harlequins on the final day to complete a run of ten straight victories, including away at Northampton, Wasps, Exeter and Leicester Tigers. In the regular season Saracens won more games than any other side −18 in total – only missing out on top spot in the league because of the bonus point system. Gloucester awaited the Men in Black in the Semi-Final at Vicarage Road. A nervy finish and a late penalty from young flyhalf Owen Farrell gave Sarries the 12–10 win they wanted to reach their second successive Premiership Final.[5] In the Final, they again faced Leicester Tigers in a dramatic encounter.[6] Saracens dominated the first half, leading 16–9 at half-time thanks to a James Short try, and showed a strong defensive performance to keep out waves of Leicester attack. This culminated in a 9-minute period of extra time during which they defended over 30 phases of Leicester assault through the forwards while leading 22–18, finally being awarded a penalty to crown them English champions for the first time and get revenge against Leicester for the previous year's final. Schalk Brits, who set up James Short's try, was awarded Man of the Match.[7]

Saracens also had one major off-field development during the season. Their landlord Watford FC activated a break clause in their groundshare deal, which at the time meant that Saracens needed a new home for the 2011–12 season.[8] After looking at several venues in the area, Saracens announced on 10 November 2010 that it was in serious discussions with Barnet Borough Council about a move to the athletics stadium at the Barnet Copthall complex. Under the plan, Saracens would redevelop the stadium into a modern facility with 3,000 permanent seats and demountable stands to allow a rugby capacity of 10,000, and include the first artificial pitch in English rugby union.[9]

Because of delays in the Barnet Copthall project, Saracens eventually reached an agreement with Watford to extend the groundshare at Vicarage Road for the 2011–12 season; the agreement covered at least 10 home matches that season.[10]

International relationships[edit]

Following the Saracens tour of Japan they have developed a relationship with Fukuoka Sanix Blues. They played Sanix at Global Arena at the start of Buck Shelford's reign as head coach and won comfortably, though they had a harder game on the same tour in Tokyo against Suntory Sungoliath.

In 2008/09, 50% of the club was bought by a South African consortium. Eddie Jones left mid-season and Brendan Venter was announced as the new Director of Rugby. Many players were 'culled' mid-season, to the outrage of the media. The changes in the club resulted in a dramatic turnaround in the club's fortunes, as they won their first eight games in the 2009/10 season, and finished 2009 on top of the Guinness Premiership. However, following a run of poor performances, they slipped to third finishing the season behind Leicester and Northampton.

Under the current ownership, Saracens have dramatically increased their international reach. As of March 2014, they have established partner clubs in Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, São Paulo and Tonga, with clubs in the Republic of Georgia, Seattle and Timișoara set for launch. According to CEO Edward Griffiths, "We estimate we could have 40 Saracens players participating at the Rio Olympics under various national colours. And we have an advertising campaign running worldwide on CNBC."[11]

2013 International encounters[edit]

In the summer of 2013, Saracens played two International matches. They beat the South African Barbarians on 16 May at Artillery Ground.[12] The team toured the Atlantic Ocean island Bermuda to promote rugby.[13] They visited a number of schools, ran coaching workshops and engaged in fundraising activities while on tour. To finish, they played a Bermuda International Select XV, which included Simon Taylor, Mike Scholz, Zach Pangelinan, Shaun Perry and Gcobani Bobo who are all Internationally capped. The side was coached by former England international Lewis Moody and captained by former Ireland player Geordan Murphy.[14]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

2014-15 Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.

Player Position Union
Schalk Brits Hooker South Africa South Africa
Jamie George Hooker England England
Richard Barrington Prop England England
Petrus du Plessis Prop South Africa South Africa
Juan Figallo Prop Argentina Argentina
Rhys Gill Prop Wales Wales
James Johnston Prop Samoa Samoa
Kieran Longbottom Prop Australia Australia
Mako Vunipola Prop England England
Alistair Hargreaves Lock South Africa South Africa
Mouritz Botha Lock England England
Jim Hamilton Lock Scotland Scotland
George Kruis Lock England England
Eoin Sheriff Lock Ireland Ireland
Hayden Smith Lock United States United States
Kelly Brown Flanker Scotland Scotland
Jacques Burger Flanker Namibia Namibia
Will Fraser Flanker England England
Justin Melck Flanker Germany Germany
Jackson Wray Flanker England England
Ernst Joubert (vc) Number 8 South Africa South Africa
Takashi Kikutani Number 8 Japan Japan
Billy Vunipola Number 8 England England
Player Position Union
Neil de Kock Scrum-half South Africa South Africa
Ben Spencer Scrum-half England England
Richard Wigglesworth Scrum-half England England
Owen Farrell Fly-half England England
Charlie Hodgson Fly-half England England
Nils Mordt Fly-half England England
Brad Barritt Centre England England
Marcelo Bosch Centre Argentina Argentina
Tim Streather Centre England England
Duncan Taylor Centre Scotland Scotland
Chris Ashton Wing England England
Mike Ellery Wing England England
David Strettle Wing England England
Jack Wilson Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Alex Goode Fullback England England
Ben Ransom Fullback England England
Chris Wyles Fullback United States United States

Academy[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.

Player Position Union
Scott Spurling Hooker England England
Biyi Alo Prop England England
Titi Lamositele Prop United States United States
Matt Hankin Flanker England England
Maro Itoje Flanker England England
Player Position Union
Sam Stanley Fly-half England England
Nick Tompkins Centre England England
Nathan Earle Wing England England

Personnel[edit]

Club officials[edit]

Hall of Fame[edit]

The following players have been inducted into the Saracens Hall of Fame[15]

Club honours[edit]

Competitive performance[edit]

Historic seasons[edit]

Season Premiership Domestic Cup European Cup
Competition Final Position Points Competition Performance Competition Performance
2013–14 Aviva Premiership 1st (Final v Northampton Saints) 87 LV= Cup SF Heineken Cup Runners up, lost to Toulon by 23-6 in Cardiff
2012–13 Aviva Premiership 1st (Lost in SF) 77 LV= Cup SF Heineken Cup SF
2011–12 Aviva Premiership 3rd (Lost in SF) 73 LV= Cup 2nd in pool Heineken Cup QF
2010–11 Aviva Premiership 1st (Champions) 76 LV= Cup 2nd in pool Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2009–10 Guinness Premiership 3rd (Runners-up in Play-off Final) 69 LV= Cup SF European Challenge Cup 2nd in pool
2008–09 Guinness Premiership 9th 47 EDF Energy
Anglo-Welsh Cup
3rd in pool European Challenge Cup SF
2007–08 Guinness Premiership 8th 52 EDF Energy
Anglo-Welsh Cup
SF Heineken Cup SF
2006–07
Details
Guinness Premiership 4th (Lost in SF) 63 EDF Energy
Anglo-Welsh Cup
3rd in pool European Challenge Cup SF
2005–06 Guinness Premiership 10th 46 Powergen
Anglo-Welsh Cup
4th in pool Heineken Cup 2nd in pool
2004–05 Zurich Premiership 5th 57 Powergen Cup QF Parker Pen Challenge Cup QF
2003–04 Zurich Premiership 10th 39 Powergen Cup QF Parker Pen Challenge Cup QF
2002–03 Zurich Premiership 8th 42 Powergen Cup QF Parker Pen Challenge Cup SF
2001–02 Zurich Premiership 10th 34 Powergen Cup QF Parker Pen Shield QF
2000–01 Zurich Premiership 5th 58 Powergen Cup QF Heineken Cup 2nd in pool
1999-00 Allied Dunbar Premiership 4th 28 Tetley Bitter Cup Last 16 Heineken Cup 2nd in pool
1998–99 Allied Dunbar Premiership 3rd 33 Tetley Bitter Cup QF No English Teams N/A
1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premiership 2nd 37 Tetley Bitter Cup Winner European Shield 2nd in pool

Sources[edit]

  • The article has largely been taken from the history section of the official Saracens website (link below)
  • 'The Saracen', Matchday programmes 1998–2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Contact Us". Saracens FC. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  2. ^ How to Find Us Saracens Amateur Rugby Football Club
  3. ^ "Official Saracens Page". Facebook. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Haydn Perry, Saracens Official 1876-1976 Centenary Brochure, 1976, Erreys Printers Ltd
  5. ^ "Saracens 12–10 Gloucester". BBC Sport. 15 May 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Gutsy Saracens secure Premiership glory ESPNScrum.com, 28 May 2011
  7. ^ "Leicester 18–22 Saracens". BBC Sport. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Saracens facing Vicarage Road exit after Watford activate break clause". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News and Media). 26 May 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Saracens set out Copthall Stadium plans". BBC Sport. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Saracens return to Watford's Vicarage Road next season". BBC Sport. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Godwin, Hugh (29 March 2014). "Premiership clubs must take ‘urgent steps’ to attract best players and bigger crowds". Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Saracens 19 South African Barbarians 0 Saracens.com, 16 May 2013
  13. ^ Saracens to tour Bermuda in bid to promote Caribbean rugby Mail Online, 27 March 2013
  14. ^ Five Eagles to face Saracens in Bermuda USA Rugby, 29 April 2013
  15. ^ Hall of Fame Saracens.com[dead link]
  16. ^ Kelly’s heroes take the glory at Melrose Scotsman.com, 16 April 2012

External links[edit]