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Sarries sign Thiel

Saracens have signed US Eagles hooker Phil Thiel as short-term cover for Schalk Brits, who is on Rugby Championship duty with South Africa.

The 29-year-old makes the switch from USA outfit Life University Running Eagles, and boasts 22 caps.

A member of the USA's 2011 Rugby World Cup squad, Thiel spent a season at Forest of Dean club Cinderford in 2005.

Former Gloucester captain Andy Deacon helped Thiel learn his front-row trade at the Dockham Road club, before winning his first international cap in 2009.

Thiel joins compatriots Titi Lamositele, Hayden Smith, Chris Wyles and Thretton Palamo at Saracens.

Free-running hooker Brits will be tied up with the southern hemisphere international challenge until October, so could miss Saracens' first five matches of the new Aviva Premiership campaign.

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