Rugby

Big hitters in Saracens contingent

Saracens have arrived in Bermuda with a star-studded squad for their preseason trip which includes an exhibition game against the USA Islanders for the Atlantic Rugby Cup.

The Aviva Premiership giants have travelled with British Lions contingent Owen Farrell, Jamie George, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Mako Vunipola and Liam Williams, although those players are unavailable for selection.

Summer recruits Calum Clark, Dominic Day, Kieran Longbottom, Will Skelton and Christopher Tolofua are also in the party, along with Academy players Ben Earl, Matt Gallagher, Nick Isiekwe, Max Malins, Dom Morris and Jack Nay.

Saracens, whose 44-man squad arrived in Bermuda on Sunday night, will have a three-day training camp on the island before playing the USA Islanders on Thursday at the National Sports Centre at 7.30pm.

Saracens, as well as Premiership club Harlequins and Greene King IPA Championship side London Irish, have previously visited Bermuda to take part in the Atlantic Cup, which started in 2013.

Speaking before his team’s arrival, Mark McCall, the Saracens director of rugby, said: “This is the first time this preseason we’ve all been together, with every player involved.

“Bermuda is a fantastic place for us to prepare for what will be another demanding season and the tour gives us the opportunity to integrate some of our newer faces into the group — we’re really looking forward to the week ahead.”

The North Londoners became back-to-back champions of Europe as they beat Clermont Auvergne in the Champions Cup final at Murrayfield in May.

Tries from Ashton and George Kruis helped the English champions into a 12-0 lead, but Clermont hit back through Remi Lamerat’s converted try.