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Hodgson to join Saracens

Saracens have confirmed that England fly-half Charlie Hodgson is to join them on a long-term deal from the start of next season.

The 30-year-old had made clear his intentions to leave current club Sale after 11 seasons with the Sharks, and Saracens were one of the clubs he had been linked with.

The London outfit have wasted little time in sealing the switch and Hodgson, who has won 34 England caps and toured New Zealand with the Lions in 2005, told Sarries' official website: "I am excited to be joining a club now recognised as the most ambitious and player-friendly in the Premiership."

He continued: "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 side.

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. Pete Anglesea will be in charge of first-team affairs until the end of this season.

And Hodgson made it clear in the statement announcing his intention to leave that he was looking for a new challenge.

"Irrespective of what has happened this season at the club, I wanted a new challenge elsewhere," he said. "I am not getting any younger and wouldn't want to hang up my boots wondering whether I should have moved.''

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall added: "As a club, we have been making massive strives 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."


From Belfast Telegraph