English Premiership
Saracens' Russell signs for Clermont
October 14, 2008
Brent Russell, formerly of Saracens and now of Clermont Auvergne, December 30 2007.
Brent Russell has made the switch to French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne from Saracens © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Brent Russell

Saracens' Springbok full-back Brent Russell has signed for French side Clermont Auvergne and is set to join up with his new team mates in the next few days.

The 28-year-old signed for Saracens last season but sustained a broken collar bone within days of his arrival, restricting his first team appearances. He has not featured in the first team this season after a shoulder injury in pre-season ruled him out of the first few weeks of the new campaign.

The now fit-again Russell would have been vying for his place with the likes of England U20 international Noah Cato and Chris Wyles, both of whom have been in excellent early-season form. As a result, Saracens and Russell have agreed that a move would be in the best interests of both parties.

"Brent is at the stage of his career where he needs to be playing regular first team rugby and we are unable to offer that at this time," explained Saracens Director of Rugby Eddie Jones. "We have strength in depth across the back three and in the last two weeks we have seen the exciting steps forward that Noah Cato has taken, while Chris Wyles continues to impress following his arrival on secondment from USA Rugby.

"Also, with players like Kameli Ratuvou, Richard Haughton, Francisco Leonelli, Rodd Penney, Edd Thrower and Dan Scarbrough within the squad, we have a number of options.

"With that in mind, when this opportunity arose for Brent to move to one of the leading clubs in France, we felt it would be wrong to stand in his way. He's very popular with players and supporters alike and we all wish him the best for the future."

Speaking about the move, Russell explained, "The offer from Clermont came out of left field and was totally unexpected. I had high expectations for my season here at Saracens - especially after some good pre-season training - and I was looking forward to playing some great rugby when I damaged ligaments in my right shoulder. Apart from the series of injuries, I have been very settled and happy here at Saracens and have made some very good mates who I will really miss.

"However, the life of a professional sportsman is all about taking one's opportunities and the offer from Clermont is a good one. I am really looking forward to getting involved in the French style of play and feel that playing in France will suit my game. I am looking forward to the challenge."

© Scrum.com

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