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Irishman Mark McCall extends contract as Saracens' director of rugby

The former Ulster head coach has guided the English club to major success in recent years.

EX-IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Mark McCall has extended his contract as Saracens’ director of rugby until 2022.

News of McCall’s fresh deal comes hot on the heels of the former Ulster head coach guiding Saracens to their fourth Premiership title since he took over during the 2010/11 season.

Saracens v London Irish - Aviva Premiership - Allianz Park McCall has enjoyed major success with Sarries. Source: Adam Davy

McCall had been touted as a possible replacement for Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach if the Kiwi moves on at the end of his current contract after the World Cup in 2019, while there had also been suggestions that McCall could be Eddie Jones’ successor as England boss in 2021.

Joining McCall in penning a new deal with Sarries are defence coach Alex Sanderson – linked with the vacant England defence coach position recently – and five other members of the Premiership’s backroom staff: Kevin Sorrell, Joe Shaw, Ian Peel Dan Vickers and Phil Morrow.

Morrow, the former IRFU Head of Fitness, joined Saracens as their performance director following the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

McCall, who played for Ireland 13 times in midfield, oversaw the Ireland U21 and Ireland A teams early in his coaching career, before taking on the role of head coach at Ulster in 2004 and leading them to the 2006 Celtic Cup.

However, he resigned in November 2007 with the province bottom of the Magners League and had a stint as an assistant coach with French club Castres, where Jeremy Davidson was in charge.

McCall joined Saracens in 2009 as a senior coach under then director of rugby Brendan Venter, eventually taking over midway through the 2010/11 campaign.

Saracens have enjoyed huge success since, with McCall leading them to their four Premiership titles, as well as back-to-back Champions Cup trophies in 2016 and 2017, and an Anglo-Welsh crown in 2015.

Confirmation of McCall and his staff penning new contracts adds to the optimism within Saracens following their Premiership final victory over Exeter Chiefs last weekend.

“It’s great news that they have all re-signed,” said Saracens chairman Nigel Wray. “They’re a team within a team; a group of friends together – they’re my friends.”

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Murray Kinsella

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