Saracens are one of the most successful and controversial rugby teams in England, having produced a dominant team, particularly over the last decade.
Where do Saracens come from? Saracens were founded in Marylebone, London and are now based in North London, particularly based at Barnet Copthall on the Hendon-Mill Hill borders in London.
When Saracens were founded in 1876, they were founded by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone which is now in central London, with the team playing its first game at Primrose Hill, in North London.
Since then, Saracens have moved around London. In 2013 they opened Allianz Park which was the long-awaited new home of the team. Allianz Park is in NW4, North London. The stadium is part of the Barnet Copthall which is a sports venue with a few different complexes.
In January 2021, the stadium was renamed from Allianz Park to the StoneX Stadium. This was because Saracens agreed on a partnership with financial services company StoneX Group. This came a year after Saracens had ended their partnership with German financial company Allianz after the team’s breach of financial fair play rules.
When were Saracens founded?
Saracens rugby club was founded in 1876 by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone, playing its first fixture at Primrose Hill that same year. Saracens merged with neighbouring club Crusaders two years later. This began the club’s history into the team they are today.
Who has the most appearances for Saracens?
Kris Chesney currently holds the record for the most appearances for Saracens RFC. Born in Ilford, North London, Chesney did not play rugby until he was 18 years old because the school he went to did not play rugby. But Chesney picked up the game incredibly quickly.
He played for two years for Barking RFC and there was a lot of interest in his services when rugby became professional in 1995. Chesney received offers from London clubs Harlequins and London Wasps but instead decided to sign for Saracens. Despite multiple offers, Chesney struggled to get consistent game time for Saracens.
After being loaned out to Bristol Bears and rugby league team London Broncos, Chesney finally established himself in the team, having his breakout campaign being the 1999-2000 season, holding onto his starting place in the team despite a serious knee injury the following season.
Chesney became Saracen’s all-time leading appearance maker in the 2007-08 season when he surpassed 300 appearances for the team and 150 in the Premiership. The forward was particularly fast for his size and position which led to Chesney featuring for the England Sevens team on multiple occasions.
After a brief stint with Toulon, Chesney retired from professional rugby in 2012 and still holds the record for the most appearances for Saracens, above club legends like Alex Goode, Richard Hill and Bard Barritt.
Why are Saracens rugby called Saracens?
Saracens Rugby Club was formed all the way back in 1876 and the name can be traced back to the 12th-century warriors. The name comes from the desert warriors of the 12th century. These warriors were known for their extreme mobility and endurance in difficult conditions.
The creators of the team wanted a name that could strike fear into opponents’ hearts, looking for a name of something valiant and strong. It is why they went for Saracens as the feared warriors were seen as pretty much invincible.
Who is in charge of Saracens Rugby?
In January 2011, Saracens appointed Irishman Mark McCall as the team’s head coach, replacing Brendan Venter who became the team’s technical director from 2011 to 2015.
Mark McCall had a good but limited career in rugby, playing for Ireland 13 times but never scoring a point for his country despite scoring over 100 during his club career. After being forced to retire due to a prolapsed disc, McCall quickly took up coaching.
His coaching began in Ireland, becoming a formal coach for Ireland U21s and Ireland A as well as a deputy coach for Ulster. Having worked his way up through the ranks, McCall was named as the Head Coach, replacing Alan Solomons, taking them to a win in the 2006 Celtic Cup.
But with the team bottom of the league, McCall resigned. He took up a role with Castres alongside fellow Ulsterman Jeremy Davidson. While McCall did not spend long coaching in France, helping Castres qualify for the Heineken Cup was enough to rebuild his coaching reputation and helped McCall to land the job with Saracens.
He was originally signed as first team coach for the 2009-10 season, but head coach Brendan Venter became the team’s Technical Director in January of 2011, allowing Mccall to be promoted. Having taken over halfway through the 2010-11 season, McCall led Saracens to their second Premiership Final in a row.
This time the team won the title with a 22-18 win over Leicester Tigers. It was the beginning of a Saracens team that would be excellent for the next decade, with that first title win containing players like Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Bard Barritt who would all contribute massively to Saracens dynasty under McCall.
In the 12 years since McCall took over, Saracens have won five Premiership titles, most recently in 2019. They have also won the European Champions Cup three times, winning the Premiership and European double in 2019. These are the only Premiership and European titles in the team’s history.
McCall remained as Saracens’ head coach throughout their punishment for breaking financial regulations of the Premiership. After the team were relegated, McCall was in charge as Saracens won the RFU Championship in 2021 and were promoted back to the Premiership.
McCall remains Saracens’ director of rugby heading into the 2022/23 season as the team are coming off the back of losing in the Premiership final to the Leicester Tigers. McCall took just over a month off from the team at the start of 2022 due to medical reasons, but it seems his commitment is to making Saracens champions once again.