Alistair Hargreaves has been appointed as Saracens captain for next season following the retirement of Steve Borthwick.

Hargreaves, 28, joined Sarries in 2012 from South African side Sharks in 2012 and last season partnered Borthwick in the second row.

The four-cap South African international made 14 appearances for the Men in Black last term at lock.

Speaking the club’s website, Hargreaves said of his appointment: “The captaincy is a fantastic honour and it is a huge responsibility. I’m really looking forward to the challenge – we have a great bunch of players here, with lots of leaders.

“My approach is to just treat people well. I like dealing with people and forging and maintaining those personal relationships with people.

"That’s something that is very important to me, and something that I want to develop as time goes by.”

Director of rugby, Mark McCall, added: “Alistair has shown exceptional leadership qualities since arriving at the club in 2012, and is ideally qualified to be our new captain.

"He is unequivocally respected by staff and players alike, and we feel certain he will lead the squad brilliantly, on and off the field.”