Waratahs lock Will Skelton to make Saracens switch next season

Telegraph Sport
Will Skelton in action for Saracens - Copyright (c) 2016 Rex Features. No use without permission.

Saracens have re-signed Australian international lock Will Skelton on a two-year deal from Super Rugby side NSW Waratahs.

Skelton played eight matches during a two-month spell for the reigning European Rugby Champions Cup winners earlier in the season but has penned a longer stay at the club.

He will remain at the Waratahs until the end of the current Super Rugby season before joining the Aviva Premiership champions for the start of the 2017-2018 season.

Director of rugby Mark McCall told saracens.com: "We're absolutely delighted that Will is returning. 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."

The 24-year-old, who has been capped 18-times by his country, will not be able to represent Australia during his time at Sarries as he does not fit the overseas criteria set by the Australian Rugby Union just before the 2015 World Cup.

Australia international Will Skelton has rejoined Saracens on a two-year deal Credit: PA Images

Only players who have played over 60 Tests for the Wallabies and have held a ARU contract for at least seven years are exempt from these guidelines, something Skelton does not qualify for, but that has not affected his enthusiasm of moving to England.

He 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 (Waratahs coach) and Michael Cheika (Australia head coach) 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."

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