Statement: Saracens confirms the departure of forward with immediate effect - Ruck

Statement: Saracens confirms the departure of forward with immediate effect

Saracens announce that Callum Hunter-Hill will depart the club at the end of the 2023/24 season.

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The lock made 81 appearances for the Men in Black over a five-year period after joining in 2019 and will now move on to a new challenge.

The Scot, who won one Premiership title and the Championship during his time in North London has been a regular in the matchday squad over the past few years whilst working with the likes of Maro Itoje, Nick Isiekwe and Hugh Tizard at lineout time.

Hunter-Hill thanked everyone at Saracens for their support.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved at the club, coaches, physios, S&C and fans alike for helping me throughout my time at Saracens. It’s been an absolute honour to represent this club, and being part of a Premiership winning team is something I could only dream of.

To all the players, thank you for everything. From the minute I came to the club to now at the end it has been constant enjoyment, I’ve loved every second and now have some great friends for life.

Thank you!”

Director of Rugby Mark McCall wished Hunter-Hill well in his new chapter.

“Callum is a brilliant player who has worked very hard for us. His appetite to learn will serve him very well moving forward and we are very appreciative of everything he has done for us.

We wish him all the best in his next challenge.”


Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia), replaced by Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand), replaced by Owen Farrell (England)

Owens praised Farrell as a player on numerous occasions.

On one occasion he wrote: “I can only speak from my own experience of refereeing him and, when I did, he was an excellent captain to deal with.

“I have a huge amount of respect for him as a player and a person. He always knew where the line was with me.

“I would say to him that he could always come and talk to me as long as it was at the right time and in the right tone and he always did that.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”