REPORT | Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje could yet depart Saracens

Saracens boss Mark McCall has conceded that a number of his England stars could still depart on loan as they look to ‘tune up’ ahead of next years British & Irish Lions series.

Despite signing new deals, it had been reported that one or two of their players could head to Super Rugby.

And the Saracens boss has confirmed that it is certainly possible.

“The most important thing for us, if I am honest, is that we get promoted, that is going to be the first priority,” said McCall.

“Those senior players might only need a couple of Championship games to keep them ticking over. If they need more competitive rugby there are avenues to make decisions with that player.”

Asked about possible Super Rugby loans, McCall continued: “I don’t think it is out of the question but this is their golden opportunity to have a quieter club year, something akin to a sabbatical.

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“I don’t think if that was to happen it would be for very long. It would be to get enough rugby to make sure they are firing come the Lions tour.

“I talked to Warren Gatland on Monday and he was very happy with the situation.

“The Lions have a warm-up game before the tour where I would expect all of our players selected to tour to be involved. There are some warm-up games before the first Test match and that might be enough for them.

“The opportunity has arisen for these players to have a little bit of a different year and we will look to use it as wisely as we can.”


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