Sarries still English

Saracens skipper Steve Borthwick says his side are maintaining their English heritage despite a major South African influx. [more]

Sarries still English

Saracens skipper Steve Borthwick says his side are maintaining their English heritage despite a major South African influx.

Sarries were taken over by South African investors last year and have since appointed former Springbok centre Brendan Venter as their new director of rugby.

A host of South African players have followed Venter to Vicarage Road, with the likes of Schalk Brits, Ernst Joubert, Ethienne Reynecke, Frik Venter and Derrick Hougaard all joining the club during the off season.

But England captain Borthwick says there is no danger of Sarries losing their identity thanks to a healthy array of English talent coming through the ranks.

"I think it’s important (to keep bringing English players through). We’ve got Andy Saul, Noah Cato, Alex Goode, and Adam Powell – there’s plenty of lads who came through and played a lot last season and will play a lot again this season," said Borthwick, who led Sarries to a 18-14 win over London Irish last weekend.

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"When you look at the next level down, Jamie George was the stand-out player at the U20 World Championships and Owen Farrell and Jake Shaw were on the U18s tour of South Africa.

"There’s a lot of really good English lads coming through and, as a proud Englishman, it’s great to see that happening."

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