Saracens have announced that Australian international second-row forward Will Skelton will re-join the club on a permanent contract.
Skelton made eight appearances for the Men in Black in an impressive two-month stay at Allianz Park earlier this 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 earlier this season 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 flanker Calum Clark will also be making the move to Allianz Park in the summer.
"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."
Speaking regarding his forthcoming return, Skelton said: "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 NSW 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."