McCall wants contract resolution for Saracens stars

Jamie George and Maro Itoje lift the Premiership trophy
Jamie George and Maro Itoje are yet to sign contracts [Getty Images]

Saracens boss Mark McCall has urged a resolution to the contract limbo affecting some of his top players.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership clubs are in talks over a new Professional Game Partnership, which includes a set of 'hybrid contracts' for leading England internationals.

Jamie George and Maro Itoje have agreed deals in principle under the new model, but no contracts have been signed.

“The sooner all that gets done, the better for everybody,” said McCall.

In December the RFU announced plans to introduce about 25 hybrid or 'enhanced' contracts, with the union paying an annual fee of about £150,000 to the player, and the club topping up the rest.

However, before their Premiership showdown at Bath on Friday night, McCall confirmed the new deals were not yet set in stone.

“Maro and Jamie have agreed something in principle, but I’m not sure there’s a contract on the table as it stands,” he added.

“It’s pretty important it gets sorted as quickly as possible.”

McCall says the limbo has not yet affected Saracens’ plans for next season, but any further delay could disrupt recruitment.

“Hopefully not – but we will have to wait and see,” he said. “It has the potential to change things I suppose.”

Meanwhile, McCall fears centre Olly Hartley, who has enjoyed a breakout season, could be out for a significant period with a knee injury suffered against Gloucester at the weekend.

However, there is positive news concerning England centre Alex Lozowski, who is nearing a return after a long-term injury absence.