Saracens fan Louise Warr explains why yesterday's 12 signings demonstrate the value of continuity at the club

Yesterday's announcement was a significant one for Saracens.

It did more than just announce that 12 players had put pen to paper to ensure their future is with the North London club.

Yes, the signings of both James Johnston and Billy Vunipola are a massive coup for the club.

But the agreement of new contracts with the ten current players, including EPS squad members Mako Vunipola and David Strettle, Saxons' Will Fraser and Richard Wigglesworth, Storm captain Nils Mordt plus some of the clubs’ finest young talent, are equally as crucial.

Pair this with the five coaching contract renewals that took place last week and the future is looking bright for Sarries.

It hasn’t always been this way though. For many years, a revolving door needed to be installed for the end of season exodus leaving the club. Big names came and went, and nothing really changed. 

Saracens were still the big money spenders who achieved a small fraction of their potential. This was not exclusive to the players either.

Poor season after poor season went by with a string of coaches inevitably paying the price.

Then along came the 2009/2010 season and the appointment of Brendan Venter. At the time, it was a contentious appointment and there was a huge furore at the possibility of a South African takeover.

Who was to know that it would end up being the move that would turn the Men in Black into a team to be taken seriously, who fight on more than one front as well as supplying significant numbers to England at varying levels along with a variety of other nations?

Inevitably changes have occurred.

The difference now is that when one individual leaves (and it is individuals that leave, group exits are a thing of the past), another is ready to take their place.

This has only been highlighted by the smooth transition that occurred when Mark McCall took over from Venter as Director of Rugby and once again when Andy Farrell was recruited into the national set up and Kevin Sorrell stepped up.

There is also the presence of the highly-rated duo of Paul Gustard and Alex Sanderson, for whom international recognition could be just only round the corner.

This is the same on the playing field as well. Those players putting pens to paper in recent times to ensure their future at Sarries are not the highly paid journeymen that Saracens had become synonymous with but either those in the forms of their career or future stars for both club and country.

This consistency has enabled a real culture and identity to be created at the club, something that had always been lacking.

Saracens is now a place where people want to be, not just a home for the nearly retired ex-international star.

The players that are brought in to the environment may be big names, but ones that can add something to the club. After all, we know what happened with Gavin Henson - players that could be at Sarries for the wrong reasons don’t tend to stick around very long.

After many years of witnessing Saracens in a precarious position or two, it makes you appreciate the good times that currently exist even more.

With these good times come a club with a strong element of stability and familiarity that will hopefully continue into Allianz Park and beyond.

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