"Legend departs" - Saracens confirm five leavers this summer - Ruck

“Legend departs” – Saracens confirm five leavers this summer

Saracens have today confirmed that Scotland international Duncan Taylor will depart the club at the end of the season.

The Scot, who has been at StoneX Stadium for 12 years, has been front and centre of all of the success and is a hugely popular figure both on and off the pitch.

The 33-year-old signed for Sarries from Bedford back in 2011 and he has gone on to make 167 appearances for the North Londoners.

He has a reputation of always stepping up in the big games, making him a firm fan-favourite. His try against Exeter Chiefs in the 2016 Premiership Final will always be fondly remembered, and his audacious offload in the Heineken Champions Cup Quarter Final against Leinster earned his side a famous win in Dublin.

Taylor was also recognised on the international stage, gaining 28 Scotland caps including the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The centre had these words for everyone at the club.

“Its been a hell of a journey. I’ve loved spending the last 12 years at this amazing place. I’ve truly had the time of my life. The ups, the downs, the trophies, the wins and losses have all been part of it, but most importantly the day to day interactions I’ve been fortunate enough to have with such an amazing group of friends will be cherished for the rest of my life.

“To the coaches, players, staff and of course the incredible fans, I couldn’t be more grateful for all your support over the years. To my family, who have supported me through everything have been a huge part of this journey as well and I can’t thank them enough for their love and support. And to Nigel who has been such a huge factor at making this club the greatest place to be, I also can’t thank him enough.”

League-leaders Saracens have already confirmed they will lose a number of other senior players at the end of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

#1. Jackson Wray – Retiring

Saracens have confirmed that club legend Jackson Wray will retire at the end of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

The back-rower has had a decorated career with the London club, and walks away after an incredible 15 years as a Saracen.

Wray has been apart of Sarries since the age of 15, and came threw the club’s academy in the iconic ‘Class of 2008’. Wray graduated with England mainstays Owen Farrell and Jamie George, along with Saracens alumnus George Kruis and Will Fraser. The 32-year-old became the fifth Saracen to make over 300 appearances for the club, has an incredible collection of winners medals.

In total, Wray has won the Premiership five times, the Heineken Champions Cup three times, and also has a winners medal from the 2014 Anglo-Welsh Cup, and 2021 RFU Championship. Wray is one of the most accomplished players in the history of Saracens, and will be sorely missed ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Wray spoke on the topic of his retirement, to the official Saracens club website. “After 15 years at this fantastic club, it is the right time for me to retire from rugby and pursue interests that I have been building towards during my career.

“There are of course far too many people to thank, so to everyone at the club over my time here, players, coaches, supporters, and in particular Nigel Wray who laid the foundations for what has been the best time of my life, thank you.

“To my family, my wife Leanne, my parents and my amazing children, I couldn’t have done this without you and I will be forever grateful for your support. The memories I have made, whether it be on or off the pitch will live with me forever. It would be difficult to single out any particular moments but of course the trophies that we won and the off-field times with all the players over the years will always be near the top of the list.

Jackson Wray, Captain of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bristol Bears and Saracens at Ashton Gate on 17 Sep. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“To run out at StoneX Stadium so many times has been a true honour and I would like to say to the supporters, you truly are the best and the commitment you have shown is absolutely incredible. I’ll still be a familiar face on match days cheering on the boys so I look forward to seeing you all for many more years to come.”

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall says Wray’s influence is like no other. He discussed the one club man’s retirement, and thanked him for his contributions to the club.

“Jackson embodies everything that is good about Saracens –  hard working, tough, resilient, consistent and team first always. He has had an extraordinary impact and influence on our club and is hugely respected and admired by all players and staff, past and present.

Jacko has not only been at the heart of the club’s biggest moments but has also led the way in many international windows and our younger players have benefitted hugely from his experience and his example in these periods.

We want to thank him for all he has done for our club and wish him, Leanne, Harper, Colby, Blake and Hudson all the very best for what comes next.”