David Strettle joins Clermont Auvergne: Saracens wing agrees three-year contract with French side to test Stuart Lancaster's policy

Strettle will leave Saracens after five years a Premiership champion following Saturday's victory over Bath

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The Independent Online

Saracens have confirmed that David Strettle will join Clermont next season after the England wing agreed a three-year contract with the Top 14 club.

Strettle, an unexpected inclusion in Stuart Lancaster's World Cup training squad, will head to France after a five-season spell at Allianz Park that ended with victory over Bath in Saturday's Aviva Premiership final.

The 31-year-old has made over 100 appearances for Saracens and departs as their leading try scorer in the Premiership.


"Something special has been happening at Saracens in the past few years and I feel very privileged to have been part of this period of success, on and off the field," Strettle said.

"We have won some famous matches and several trophies, but the bond within the squad has been incredible and it's fantastic to see this culture producing a new generation of top young players.

"I've had an amazing five years at Saracens and am now really looking forward to a new chapter in my career - playing at Clermont and testing myself in the Top 14."

Strettle has spent five seasons with Sarries

Both Strettle and his fellow Saracens wing Chris Ashton had been linked with a move to Clermont in recent weeks, but director of rugby Mark McCall strongly hinted after the 28-16 triumph over Bath that only the former was leaving.

Lancaster stated on Friday that he was unaware Strettle was considering his options in the Top 14 when picking him in his training squad for the World Cup.

England have a policy of not considering players based overseas and Lancaster insisted that had he known of Strettle's potential transfer, he may have chosen differently.

Lancaster did not know about Strettle's move when he selected him

Wasps wing Christian Wade was unlucky not to make the 50 and, to prove his point, scored a hat-trick of tries in England's 73-12 victory over the Barbarians in their non-cap international at Twickenham.