Saracens hero Jackson Wray announces decision to retire at end of the season: ‘It’s the right time’

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Jackson Wray will retire from rugby at the end of the season  (PA)
Jackson Wray will retire from rugby at the end of the season (PA)

Jackson Wray will retire at the end of the season after more than 300 appearances in a career spanning 14 years of senior rugby at Saracens.

The gritty flanker was the fifth Saracen to pass 300 appearances, and has lifted five Premiership titles and three European crowns in his time with the Men In Black.

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Former Wasps flanker Tom Willis will join Saracens this summer from Bordeaux, and his arrival will ease the sizeable void left by the retiring 32-year-old Wray.

“After 15 years at this fantastic club, it is the right time for me to retire from rugby and pursue interests that I have been building towards in my career,” said Wray.

“The memories I have made will live with me forever. The trophies that we won and the off-field time with all the players over the years will always be near the top of the list.

“To run out at StoneX Stadium so many times has been a true honour.”

Rugby director Mark McCall has frequently spoken of Wray’s Test-level abilities, even though the abrasive back-rower never broke through at international level with England.

And the Saracens boss paid tribute to a one-club man who often came into his own during the Test match windows, when the onus would be on those not heading off for international duty to maintain the highest standards.

“Jackson embodies everything that is good about Saracens; hard-working, tough, resilient, consistent and team-first always,” said McCall.

“He has had an extraordinary impact and influence on our club and is hugely respected and admired by all players and staff, past and present.

“Jacko has not only been at the heart of the club’s biggest moments but has also led the way in many international windows and our younger players have benefited hugely from his experience and his example in these periods.

“We want to thank him for all he has done for our club and wish him and his family all the very best for what comes next.”