Saracens Star Forced to Retire

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Asia-Pacific Barbarians' Troy Flavell (L) tackles Saracens' Will Frazer during a rugby union match of the Chartis Cup between Saracens and the Asia-Pacific Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 9, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

Saracens will go into the season without homegrown flanker Will Fraser as the player has been forced into early retirement. The 27 year old’s professional career has been blighted by injuries and he has had to call time on his playing days under medical advice due to a neck injury.

Saracens Star Forced to Retire

Fraser has always been a player of huge potential but this has been capped by an unfortunate series of injuries which has limited him to just 83 appearances in seven years. Fraser came through the club’s academy and was a part of the club’s famed Class of ’08 academy which includes current Saracens stars Owen Farrell, Jamie George, George Kruis and Jackson Wray. Fraser’s star has not shone as bright as his contemporaries, but that is more down to injuries than his playing ability. Speaking about Fraser his long term manager Mark McCall said:

“The respect and admiration in which he is held amongst his peers at Saracens cannot be overstated. He has played a key role in forging the culture we all enjoy here today and he will be missed.  He is an intelligent, caring and focussed young man so we’re all certain that he will make a great success of any future endeavours and he’ll always be welcome at the Club and at Allianz Park.”

Fraser’s injuries prevented him from gaining full international honours, however when he was fit and playing he was close to selection having played for the England Saxons and being involved in some of Stuart Lancaster’s training squads. As an openside flanker who specialised in the murky arts of stealing ball around the breakdown, he would no doubt have been under consideration for Eddie Jones as well had he remained fit. Speaking about his injuries Fraser has said:

“I have had a torrid time with injuries pretty much throughout my whole career, but especially in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, with this injury, I have had to listen to medical advice, which has been for me to stop playing. The decision was made for me, which is tough, but it’s a decision that completely I understand and accept.”

Into the future

Fraser will be leaving the professional game but will remain a part of the Saracens set up as he will take over the running of ‘The Saracens Way’ a programme aiming to provide professional insights from how the double European champions operate. As he has been at the club since the early age of 14 he will have a better insight than most into how the club was transformed from nearly men into a dominant force both domestically and internationally.

Quotations courtesy of www.saracens.com

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