Saracens recruit English-qualified Crusaders star to fill Owen Farrell void

Jared Wright
Fergus Burke of The Crusaders during the Super Rugby Pacific Round 13 match between Moana Pasifika and the Canterbury Crusaders at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Fergus Burke of The Crusaders during the Super Rugby Pacific Round 13 match between Moana Pasifika.

Saracens have announced the signing of talented Crusaders back Fergus Burke, who will be tasked with replacing Owen Farrell at the Premiership club.

Burke has inked a long-term deal with the defending Premiership champions and will arrive at the club in the summer.

With Farrell departing Saracens to join Racing 92 at the end of the season, Burke is lined as the long-term successor for the current club captain.

Fergus Burke signs for Saracens

The English-qualified fly-half has made 33 appearances for the Crusaders since making his debut in 2020 and was involved in their seventh consecutive title, scoring in the semi-final win over the Blues and then coming off the bench in the final against the Chiefs.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is looking to the future as the squad goes through a rebuild and said that the coaches were hugely impressed by Burke.

“Fergus is a very exciting addition to our squad and the Gallagher Premiership,” he said.

“His playing ability and potential is obvious and we have been hugely impressed by his ambition and desire to take his game to the next level.

“At 24, Fergus joins a group of players who we believe can take the club forward in the years to come.”

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Changing of the guard at Saracens

After graduating from the hailed Crusaders Academy, he featured for Canterbury in the NPC, and a key part of his development also included playing for New Zealand U20s in the World Championship in Argentina.

The 6’2″ 24-year-old back is looking forward to a new challenge in London.

“I’m excited and grateful to be joining such a prestigious club. I am looking forward to coming over and meeting everyone at the club and all of the Saracens supporters,” he said.

The news of Burke’s signing follows that of Los Pumas stars Lucio Cinti and Juan Martin Gonzalez’s contract extensions to remain at StoneX Stadium.

The club have also recruited up front, with Rhys Carre set to return to Saracens from Cardiff, as well as the signing of highly-rated Newcastle Falcons prop Phil Brantingham.

While Farrell is set to depart, the likes of Elliot Daly, Jamie George and Maro Itoje have all re-signed with Saracens.

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