Saracens are delighted to announce the signing of South African international flanker Schalk Burger for the 2016/17 season.
The world class Springbok loose forward will link-up with the reigning Aviva Premiership champions for the 2016/17 season after signing a two-year deal with the Allianz Park club.
Renowned as one of world rugby’s finest back row forwards, Burger has captained South Africa during his stellar 12-year international career and is a former IRB World Player of the year. He has won 86 caps for the Springboks and holds the record for the most tries (14) for a back row forward for his country. Burger will link up with Saracens after a spell with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath and Super Rugby’s Stormers.
On his future move to Saracens, the 32-year old Burger said: “I’m delighted to be joining Saracens. I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to play in both the Aviva Premiership and the European Cup, two of the leading competitions in world rugby for such a special club.
“It’s an exciting challenge for me and my family and hopefully I can add a lot of value both on and off the field to an already successful group of players and coaches. I’m looking forward to playing alongside my new teammates and playing in front of all the Saracens fans and getting to know everyone at Allianz Park.”
Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall: “Schalk is a Springbok legend, and will add a huge amount of experience and quality to our young English pack of forwards at the club. We have always talked about having the right blend of experience and youth in our squad, so to be able to add one of the world’s finest players to the group is extremely exciting news. By the beginning of next season we will have lost two highly experienced back row forwards in Ernst Joubert and Jacques Burger, so to have a player of Schalk’s calibre coming into the squad is fantastic news.
“He is a man who has achieved everything there is to achieve in the game of rugby. Not only is he a fine rugby player, he is a humble and down to earth guy who we believe we will fit into the Saracens environment.
“We’re all very excited to welcome Schalk and his family to Allianz Park for the 2016 season.”
Schalk Burger Fact File
Height: 6 ft 4 in
Weight: 251 lb
• World Cup winner (2007)
• Has played in the Rugby World Cup four times (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
• SA Rugby Player of the Year (2004 & 2011)
• Young SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee (2003 & 2004)
• IRB Player of the Year (2004)
• Holds the record for the most Test tries by a Springbok flanker (14), with England and New Zealand the teams he has scored the most tries against (three)
• Springbok captain no. 55 in history.
• Burger made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers in 2004 and his Currie Cup bow for Western Province the same year.