Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:36 25 May 2020

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Saracens lock George Kruis has confirmed he will join Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan on a one-year contract at the end of the season.

The England international will end a 12-year association with Sarries, who were relegated to the Championship for a breach of the salary cap.

The 30-year-old has made 184 first-team appearances since graduating from the Academy and he has also played 45 times for England.

Kruis said: "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.

"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."

Saracens Director of rugby Mark McCall added: "It is hard to overstate what George has given to the club.

"As part of a great Academy group, George grew up at Saracens and it has been a pleasure watching him achieve so much for our club, his country and the Lions.

"George balanced incredible drive and unrelenting hard work with compassion and care for others, qualities which made him such a brilliant teammate and so respected in the group.

"We wish George every success in the future. He will always be considered a central figure in everything that has been accomplished at Saracens."

A move abroad would usually signal the end of an international career for English players because the RFU does not select English players based overseas.

However, earlier this year the RFU said it would not rule out international selection for Saracens players who move abroad.

England internationals Billy Vunipola, Jamie George and Elliot Daly are all set to stay at Saracens but Mako Vunipola and Maro Itoje are yet to commit another season to the side.

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