Brad Barritt has signed a new contract with Saracens two days after leading the club to the 2018 Premiership title.
Barritt, a hard-running inside centre who excels at defence, has spent the last decade at Allianz Park and will extend his stay by a further two seasons until 2020.
The 31-year-old was at the helm for Saturday’s rout of Exeter in the Premiership final at Twickenham and was captain of the double-winning side of 2016.
“It’s pretty much a no-brainer for me. Being part of Saracens has been an amazing journey and I’m really pleased to be able to extend my time at the club,” Barritt said.
“I think the hallmark of our success as a club over the past few years has been the stability and the consistency of the squad we’ve kept together so I’m delighted to stay on the train and be part of this fantastic club.”
Leinster completed a domestic and European double with a 40-32 victory over Scarlets in the PRO14 final in Dublin on Saturday.
Victory saw the Irish province add the PRO14 title to the Champions Cup crown they won by beating Racing 92 in Bilbao a fortnight ago.
The Dublin-based side’s latest trophy also capped a superb season on the field for rugby in Ireland following the Men in Green’s Six Nations Grand Slam triumph.
On the back of their stunning unbeaten form this campaign, we take a look at some of the greatest club rugby sides over the years.
One of the greatest teams of all time.
The Somerset outfit clinched six Premiership titles in eight years and sealed the double on four occasions (1989, 1992, 1994 and 1996).
During eight seasons, they claimed 10 cup wins and six league league titles overall, but could not contend with Europe’s elite until lifting the Heineken Cup in 1998.
The Tigers may have clinched the Premiership in 1995 and Anglo-Welsh Cup in 1993 and 1997, but it was from 99 to 02 where they really shone.
Under the captaincy of Martin Johnson, they won four successive Premiership titles and also secured back-to-back Heineken Cups in 2001 and 2002.
During that period, they went 57 games unbeaten at Kingsholm over a five-year spell.
An incredible team.
Over a 14-year period, Toulouse won four Heineken Cups as well as six domestic titles in eight years.
Though only one Heineken Cup and French Championship double was sealed in this period (1996), Le Stade were the leading lights in the game with much of their squad made up of home grown players.
Some of the stars names from this side included Clement Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Maxime Medard, Thierry Dusautoir, William Servat, Louis Picamoles and Cedric Heymans.
A golden era for the Christchurch team who won the Super 12 title four times in six years (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008) as well as finished runners-up twice (2003 and 2004).
Not only did the south Island outift hold more individual records than any other club, they have also provided some of the most influential figures in All Blacks history in Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.
Like the current crop of Leinster stars, this group was dominated by a stellar line-up of mainly homegrown talent.
Under key man Brian O’Driscoll, the Blues purred with dominance and won three PRO12 titles (2008, 2013 and 2014) and three Heineken Cup titles (2009, 2011 and 2012).
Aside from the dominance of O’Driscoll, the Dublin side also boasted international stars in Rob Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy, Jamie Heaslip, Cian Healy and Johnny Sexton.
The Red Army first won the Heineken Cup in 2006 and lifted it again two years later, beating Toulouse in the final. Lost finals in 2000 and 2005 to Northampton and Leicester, while also winning three Celtic League crowns (2003, 2009 and 2011) and the Celtic Cup in 2005.
Irish legends to come through the ranks at Thomond Park in this time included Paul O’Connell, Ronan O’Gara, Keith Wood, John Hayes, Denis Leamy, David Wallace, Donncha O’Callaghan and Peter Stringer.
Still one of the heavyweights in France – but not the same side that lit up the Top 14 and Europe three years ago.
The mega-rich club clinched three successive Champions Cup titles (2013, 2014 and 2015) but have not been able to transform their sparkling form on to the domestic stage, yielding just one title in 2014.
Some of the marquee names recruited by multimillionaire owner Mourad Boudjellal included Jonny Wilkinson, Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Leigh Halfpenny, George Gregan, Ma’a Nonu JP Pietersen, Malakai Fekitoa and Sonny Bill Williams.
Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler and Dragons wing Ashton Hewitt have both been ruled out of Wales’ summer tour.
Shingler suffered a knee injury during Scarlets’ Guinness PRO14 final defeat against Leinster in Dublin on Saturday, while uncapped Hewitt sustained a shoulder injury during Wales training three days ago.
The Welsh Rugby Union said that Cardiff Blues forward Josh Turnbull, who won the last of his eight caps two years ago, has been called into the squad.
Wales leave for the United States on Sunday, facing South Africa in Washington DC next weekend before heading to South America and two Tests against Argentina.