Mike Rhodes leaving Saracens at the end of the season
Saracens can today confirm that Mike Rhodes will be leaving at the end of the season after a highly successful seven years at the club.
The back-rower arrived in 2015 and has gone on to make 106 appearances for the Men in Black, winning three Premiership trophies and three European cups during that time.
Rhodes started his career with the Sharks in his native Durban before featuring for the Lions and the Stormers in Super Rugby ahead of his move to North London.
In his debut season he started both the Premiership and Champions Cup Finals, the first European title in the history of the club.
The next campaign he was named Players’ Player of the Year as Sarries retained their European crown at Murrayfield by beating Clermont in the final.
His partnership with the likes of Jackson Wray and Billy Vunipola in the back-row has been a significant part of the success at StoneX Stadium in recent years, and he became a centurion during the Trailfinders Challenge Cup in February.
On the international scene, the South African has represented the Barbarians and also took on the British and Irish Lions back in 2009.
Rhodes has looked back on his time with Sarries with huge fondness.
“It’s been an amazing time. On the field the club has been very successful and I’ve been part of some great times so it’s been an unbelievable experience.”
He added: “There are too many people to thank but I’ve been extremely lucky to have played with such a high quality team and I’m eternally grateful for being a part of this.”
Director of Rugby Mark McCall says Rhodes has made an enormous impact during his six years at Saracens.
“Perhaps the biggest compliment you could pay Michael Rhodes is, if you asked our players who they’d most not want to play against in our team, it would be him!
“The definition of physical on both sides of the ball, his relentless work rate and full throttle approach to the game have made him a central figure in all the club has achieved.
“Off the field, he is a devoted team-mate and family man who has time for everyone and a deep affection for the club. We wish him, Cara, Jack and Tommy well in all that lies ahead. Thanks Rhodesy.”