England prop Vunipola commits future to Saracens

London (AFP) –


England loose-head prop Mako Vunipola has become the latest player to pledge his future to Saracens despite their impending relegation to the second-tier Championship for salary cap breaches.

The English champions will be demoted from the Premiership to the second tier in 2020/21 following repeated infractions but Vunipola has signalled his intention to stay with the club, who signed him from Bristol nine years ago.

The 29-year-old British and Irish Lions front rower, who plays alongside brother Billy for Sarries, said the London-based club had looked after him well.

"I have no doubt the club will be back and fighting for championships and that's part of the reason why this decision was quite easy," he said.

"It wasn't all too difficult for me as I could see the group we had and the strength of the club. I've no doubt we'll attack this challenge like we have done with the other challenges we've had before."

Vunipola has made 168 appearances for the Allianz Park outfit and he joins England team-mate Jamie George and Scotland international Sean Maitland in committing his future to the club.

Mako Vunipola's cousin Manu Vunipola last week extended his deal with the reigning Premiership and European champions.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "Mako is a world-class player who is able to combine an innate understanding of the game with brutal physicality and an incredible skill-set.

"The Vunipola family are an integral part of the Saracens story. Mako is a hugely respected member of the squad who shows genuine care for his teammates. We are delighted he has committed his future here."