Saracens, English rugby union champions, relegated for salary-cap violations

Tanya Simon
January 20, 2020

Not long after adding another English Premiership title to their collection, the Saracens will play in the second tier, aftercoming on the wrong end of a penalty dished out for salary-cap breaches.

Seven players from the Premiership and European champions are present in England's 34-man squad for the Six Nations and they will head to a pre-tournament training camp in Portugal with their club futures shrouded in uncertainty.

They could not prove they were compliant with the salary cap, having failed to release any of their high-earning players from the squad, and chose to accept relegation.

Jones said he hoped Ryles' skill-set as a coach, particularly with the forwards around the ruck, "will help us with the way the game is going".

"All of that business, that will get sorted out".

As part of this process, we will soon be announcing an open consultation so that everyone involved in the game has the opportunity to contribute to its future. "It's important but the only important thing for those boys now is to get ready to play for England".

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Eddie Jones thinks his refreshed England squad could become "the greatest rugby team rugby has ever seen" after selecting his Six Nations squad.

When asked he wanted to achieve that aim by the end of his current two-year contract, Jones replied: "I want to do it next weekend". Jack Nowell and Billy Vunipola misses out on selection through injury, but Jack Singleton, Mark Wilson, Dan Cole, Henry Slade, Piers Francis, Joe Cokanasiga, Ben Spencer and Ruaridh McConnochie - who all featured at the World Cup - has been dropped.

Earl is a player that's impressed Jones in recent weeks, and could provide an option to replace Vunipola, "He's played exceptionally well for Saracens".

Saracens' pool of England internationals - which includes national captain Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola - formed the core of Eddie Jones's squad that reached the World Cup final a year ago.

Winners of four league titles in the last five years, Saracens will play in the Championship next term. "At the moment it's tough and he probably feels the whole world is against him, but he'll be all right".

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