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Springboks' Schalk Burger to leave Saracens after season

Schalk Burger will leave Sarries at the end of the season, having joined in 2016. David Rogers/Getty Images

Former South Africa and Stormers forward Schalk Burger will be leaving English club Saracens at the end of the Premiership season, the club announced on Wednesday.

The Springboks legend, who won a Rugby World Cup with the Boks and was the World Player of the Year in 2004, will leave Sarries after three years with the team. In that time, he won a European Champions Cup in 2017.

"I'm going to leave Saracens a happy man. I've made great friends here and that's pretty much the standout feature," said Burger, who will return to Cape Town.

"The way we go about enjoying rugby, enjoying spending time together, the trips I've had with the team and we've won a couple of trophies since I've been here too so I have a lot of great memories.

"In rugby you go through phases where you play well and don't play well, but at the end of the day that's the by-product. What you care about is the quality of the human and the quality of time we've spent together as a club.

"I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone for taking not only me in but my whole family. We've had a lot of success on the field but what stands out is the friendships I've made off the field so a massive thank you to everyone involved."

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall added: "It has been a privilege to have Schalk at Saracens.

"He embodies many of the values we hold dear; competing in every moment, being a great teammate, leaving the club in a better place than you found it.

"We have all learned a great deal from one of rugby's truly great players. We wish him and his family every success in the future."

Burger retired from the national team in 2015, with 86 caps in the bag. It is unclear whether he plans to continue playing once in Cape Town.