Skelton off to England again

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 11:06
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NEWS: Australian international forward Will Skelton will re-join English club Saracens on a permanent deal.

Skelton made eight appearances for the Sarries in an impressive two-month stay at Allianz Park earlier in the 2016-2017 season and he has put pen to paper on a two-year deal to return to north London at the end of the Super Rugby season later this year from the Sydney-based Waratahs.

In an eye-catching stint at Saracens, Skelton slotted into the reigning European and English Champions side with impressive ease, with his bulldozing carries, offloading game and committed defence endearing himself to the Saracens faithful. The 24-year-old who has been capped 18 times by the Wallabies, will head back to Saracens for the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

"We're absolutely delighted that Will is returning," said Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall. "In a very short space of time here his contribution to the side was superb, he showed a real appetite to improve his game and he was very popular among all the players and staff.  

"There's still so much more to come from him, which is incredibly exciting for us as he is already a proven international player so we're looking forward to welcoming him back later this year."

Skelton is Saracens' fourth signing for 2017/18 season, following the announcements that Wales international Liam Williams, Toulouse and France hooker Christopher Tolofua and Northampton Saints and England flank Calum Clark will also be making the move to Allianz Park in the off-season.

"We have identified a handful of players who we felt would improve what is now a stable and developing squad and we're delighted to have been able to wrap up these signings for next season," said McCall. "Will, alongside Liam, Christopher and Calum will have an important role to play for the club going forward and we're delighted to have confirmed the majority of our signings for next season."

Skelton added: "I am very excited to be returning to Saracens. This time around I am signing a longer-term deal, so it's been a really big decision and one I haven't made lightly. It's not easy leaving the Waratahs and the Wallabies - Darryl Gibson and Michael Cheika have been fantastic for my career so far and I want to thank them for everything they have done for me, on and off the field.

"Not being able to pull on the gold jersey while I am playing in England has made the decision especially difficult, but this is about family as much as it is football. One day I'd love to play for Australia again and if that opportunity comes up I will give everything I've got for my country. My wife Kate and I are looking forward to working and living on the other side of the world, and everything that brings."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10