Saracens back row Jackson Wray has declared his loyalty to the Championship-bound club for next season.
As Alex Lozowski is expected to announce his departure to Toulouse, among other players to leave either on loan or permanent basis, Wray has joined captain Brad Barritt in furthering their Saracens careers.
In his 15th season with the London club, Wray explained the thought of leaving hadn’t been an option he had given much consideration.
“I love it here,” said Wray, 29. “I love working with all the lads that are here. I love the environment and how the club looks after people. My family are happy, my kids are happy, and I just love what the place is about.
“The people are what make the club special. I go to work every day enjoying what I’m doing, testing myself, always feeling like what I do is appreciated and when I’m not doing things well how we go about it.
“The environment and how the lads enjoy time together is great. People say about it being a family and we actually are. I spend so much time with the lads at the club and away from it too that it is an absolute no-brainer for me to stay.
“Winning trophies has been brilliant and what comes with that, but off the field it’s everything we do. We do a lot together and after you win or lose it’s making sure you’re tight and we’ve always been that way.
“It’s a proper family. The closest friends I have are the ones I’ve known since I was 14 but I love spending time with all the boys at the training ground, and then away from that the time with our families.
“It’s just a great place to be.”
An independent disciplinary panel recommended the maximum punishment of 35 points deducted and £5.36m fine after hearing the case of how Saracens exceeded Premiership salary cap limits for the three seasons between 2016 and 2019.
Further infractions this season saw an additional 70-point deduction, effectively condemning Saracens to relegation.
Wray explained how the period of disappointment and anger has passed, and now he sees the opportunity for the club’s legacy to continue from senior members of the first team and the club’s academy.
“Obviously it was disappointing when the news broke,” Wray said.“Right now, I’m over it with all that is going on now. I’m just looking forward to kicking on next year physically and maybe help the body by not playing 30-odd games a season! It’ll give my body a bit of a breather and I’m looking forward to it.”
Wray continued: “There will be a lot of opportunities for young guys to have a base and really kick on next year.
“They’ll get a lot of experience of prepping and reviewing week-to-week and will be some of the main guys doing what they need to do and that will be good for a lot of people. I’m excited to see how good they can become and how good they will be from that experience.”
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