Brad Barritt has been appointed as the new Saracens captain, succeeding Alistair Hargreaves, in skippering the reigning Aviva Premiership and European champions.
As he prepares for his ninth season in Saracens colours, 29-year old centre Barritt assumes the captaincy role on permanent basis after leading Saracens to the double last season in the place of lock forward Alistair Hargreaves, who was sidelined for the majority of the 2015/16 campaign.
Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, said: “Throughout Brad’s time at the club he has shown exceptional leadership qualities and he is ideally qualified to be our captain.
“Brad is someone who leads through example – through his actions, attitude and application. He is one of the most competitive players I have ever come across, showing complete commitment to the game and is a role model professional. He is a natural leader.
“He stepped in to the captaincy role last season in Alistair’s absence with real aplomb, and is highly respected by staff and players alike – we feel certain he will continue to lead the squad brilliantly, on and off the field.”
McCall also paid tribute to Alistair Hargreaves as he passes on the captain’s armband to Barritt.
“I’d also like to thank Alistair for his contribution as captain over a highly successful period for the club, said McCall. “Alongside Brad and a number of senior players within our squad, Alistair will still have an important role to play going forward.”
Barritt arrived at Saracens in 2008, and has clocked up 171 appearances for the Men in Black. In that period he has won 26 England caps, toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, won three Premiership titles and led the club to their maiden European Champions Cup title.
Speaking about his appointment as Saracens captain, Barritt said: “To captain Saracens is a huge honour and I am looking forward to the responsibility. I’d like to put on record my thanks to Alistair, who has led Saracens superbly well over the last two seasons and will still have an important role by my side.
“Last season was the most successful in the club’s history and we are hoping to build on that in the coming years. We have a great blend of youth and experience in our group, a fantastic team spirit and a great coaching set-up, so we’ll continue to work incredibly hard over this coming season to build upon some very strong foundations.”
Barritt added: "We are back-to-back Premiership champions and now European champions. We know those things don't come easily, and we realise that next season is going to be that much harder because we are going to have a target on our backs, but it’s a challenge we are all relishing and we are as hungry as ever for success.”