England fly-half Charlie Hodgson has spoken of his excitement after confirming that he will join Saracens on a long-term contract from the start of next season.
The 30-year-old had revealed his intention to leave current club Sale on Sunday, where he has been for the last 11 seasons, at the end of the current campaign and Saracens wasted little time in securing the services of the 34-cap stand-off. Hodgson, a Lions tourist in 2005, admits he is looking forward to a new challenge in his career.
"I am excited to be joining a club now recognised as the most ambitious and player-friendly in the Premiership," he said. "Saracens have great people and great plans - there really is something special happening in north London, and I'm looking forward to being part of it."
Hodgson joined Sale straight from university and has gone on to score a Premiership record 1,753 points for the Edgeley Park outfit, including the 13 he registered in their win over his future employers nine days ago.
His boot helped steer them to the league title in 2006 but the Sharks have endured some tough times since that peak and they currently lie 10th in the table having parted company with coach Mike Brewer two days before Christmas.
Sarries, meanwhile, will be hoping Hodgson can provide them with real authority and a clear first-choice number 10 as they continue to seek a first Premiership title.
The Londoners had rotated between Derick Hougaard and Alex Goode this season until the South African ruptured his Achilles tendon in October. Teenager Owen Farrell has filled the role in recent weeks with Goode restored to his more familiar role of full-back.
The move could also have consequences for recent signing Gavin Henson, who has voiced a desire to play at 10 since returning to the game from his self-imposed exile.
And director of rugby Mark McCall said: "As a club, we have been making massive strides over the past couple of years and the signing of Charlie Hodgson is another major step.
"He is a world-class player whose personality and ability ideally suits our environment. Charlie was wanted by many leading clubs, and we are delighted he has chosen to sign with Saracens."