Saracens swoop for Wigglesworth

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The Independent Online

Saracens have followed up their signing of Matt Stevens by recruiting another England international - Sale Sharks scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth.

The 26-year-old, who has won five Test caps, will link up with Saracens in time for next season.



It comes just a day after Saracens announced the arrival of prop Stevens next January, on completion of a two-year drugs ban he is currently serving.





Wigglesworth has slipped down the England scrum-half pecking order behind Paul Hodgson, Danny Care and Harry Ellis.

But his departure from Edgeley Park will be viewed as a blow to Sale, whose other international scrum-half - Wales star Dwayne Peel - could also quit when his existing contract expires in May.



Peel, currently sidelined because of a groin injury, has been linked with a move back to Wales or possibly joining an exodus of British players to France.



Wigglesworth said: "I have had nine great years at Sale, but I feel the time is right for a change.



"Everyone can see there is something special happening at Saracens, on and off the field, and I want to be part of it."



Saracens, contenders for this season's Premiership title, currently have three international number nines on their books in South African Neil de Kock, New Zealander Justin Marshall and Fijian Moses Rauluni.



Saracens rugby director Brendan Venter added: "Richard is a top-quality international in the prime of his career, and his eagerness to join Saracens is further evidence this club is going places."

Wigglesworth, a Sale academy product, made his club debut in 2002.

Sale rugby director Kingsley Jones said: "Richard has given Sale Sharks excellent service.



"He is a very popular member of the squad, and my lasting memory of him will be at Twickenham in 2006 when we lifted the Premiership title.



"It has been difficult for us in that we have two top-class scrum-halves at the club, both wanting to start every game."





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