LONDON – London-based side Saracens has signed Springbok legend Schalk Burger in a coup for the team currently leading the Aviva Premiership.
In signing a two year deal, the 32 year old will link up with Saracens for the 2016/2017 season after a stint with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath and Super Rugby’s Stormers.
With him, the flanker brings a wealth of experience including; four Rugby World Cup appearances including a pivotal role in the 2007 World Cup winning Springbok team, 86 test caps and a total 156 provincial caps across South Africa and Japan.
He will likely form an important partnership with Saracen’s no.8 Billy Vunipola as Saracens look to boost their squad in order to become consistent contenders for the European Champions Cup after traditionally struggling to get to the final four.
Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall struggled to hide his delight with Burger’s signing.
“Schalk is a Springbok legend, and will add a huge amount of experience and quality to our young English pack of forwards at the club,” he said.
“We have always talked about having the right blend of experience and youth in our squad, so to be able to add one of the world’s finest players to the group is extremely exciting news. By the beginning of next season we will have lost two highly experienced back row forwards in Ernst Joubert and Jacques Burger, so to have a player of Schalk’s calibre coming into the squad is fantastic news.”
While he will receive a warm welcome for the 2016/2017 season, it’s fair to say Saracens would have loved Burger to join for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season with Saracens looking for a strong showing in the European Champions Cup