Key trio commit to Saracens
August 31, 2011
Borthwick captained Saracens to Premiership glory © PA Photos
Saracens have been handed a boost before the new Aviva Premiership season with the news that three of their key players have committed their future to the club.
Key trio Steve Borthwick, Kelly Brown and Neil de Kock have all signed new deals with the Premiership champions though the Vicarage Road side have not announced the duration of their contracts.
Borthwick- who has 57 caps for England - led Saracens to their maiden Premiership triumph last term. And due to him being on the outskirts of the England squad, Sarries will be able to call upon his vast experience while many of their charges are competing for the William Webb Ellis cup in the southern hemisphere.
The second-row's leadership has aided Saracens' transition from Premiership also-rans into champions and he admits there was never any doubt in re-committing to the Vicarage Road side.
"People talk about Saracens as a special club, and they are right in many ways," Borthwick said. "There is a fantastic group of people at Saracens who work incredibly hard for each other to continue to build this great club. We have a long way to go in many respects, and I'm looking forward to the journey."
Back-row Brown will go to the World Cup as part of Scotland's 30-man squad and was a key part of the squad which topped the podium last term. The 29-year-old back row forward said: "The past year has been perhaps the most exciting and rewarding of my career, and everybody at the club is determined to make sure last year's Aviva Premiership win is only the start.
"Saracens is built on the core values of work rate, honesty, discipline and humility - we know that, and we won't forget that."
De Kock started the Premiership final last season and the former Springbok is looking forward to the challenge of retaining the title. He said: "I am preparing to start my sixth season at the club, and I can honestly say I've never been happier.
"Last season was fantastic, but everybody understands we will have to work twice as hard to retain the Premiership title, everybody is completely committed and everybody is moving in the same direction."
Meanwhile Saracens have bolstered their scrum-half resources for the 2011-12 campaign with the signing of Ben Spencer. The 19-year-old impressed during the pre-season and will provide cover in the half-back berth while Richard Wigglesworth is away with England.
"I was looking forward to another season at Cambridge, and it's completely beyond my expectations to be signing for the champions," Spencer said. "There is a real determination around the club to work unbelievably hard, and retain the Premiership title, and I'm determined to play my part."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton