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England lock George Kruis signs for Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan

The 30-year-old will leave Saracens after 12 years with the club.

ENGLAND AND SARACENS LOCK George Kruis has signed for Japanese club Panasonic Wild Knights on a one year-deal.

The 30-year-old will move to the Top League club at the end of the 2019/20 season, ending his 12-year spell with Saracens.

Kruis will join the Wild Knights, who are coached by Robbie Deans, along with Wales and Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes. 

englands-george-kruis-is-tackled-by-irelands-cj-stander-2322020 Kruis in action against Ireland in this year's Six Nations. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

While moving abroad means Kruis will be ineligible for England unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’, the 45-times capped lock has already indicated that this transfer does not represent permanent international retirement and he is also keen to go on a second Lions tour next year, having been part of the 2017 trip to New Zealand.

Saracens will be playing in the English Championship next season after their relegation from the Premiership due to points deductions relating to salary cap breaches.


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“I cannot thank all the team and staff at Saracens enough, not only for the time they have put into building me as a player on the field, but as an individual off it,” said Kruis.

“I have made lifelong friendships and memories that will carry on way past my playing career. Although this has clearly been a tough decision, I am extremely excited and honoured to take on this new challenge and chapter in my career.”

The Wild Knights are one of the top clubs in Japan and were leading the Top League when the season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Next season is expected to get underway in January 2021.

Kruis and Parkes will replace the outgoing Sam Whitelock and Damian de Allende, who have signed for Crusaders and Munster respectively. 

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Murray Kinsella

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