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South African forward Mike Rhodes to leave Saracens at end of season

(SATSports) – South African-born back-row forward Mike Rhodes will leave English club Saracens following the end of the season.

The 33-year-old, who arrived in 2015, made more than 100 appearances for Saracens winning three Premiership trophies and three European Cups.

The long-serving player was a fan favourite and was named Players’ Player of the Year in the 2016-2017 season.

Prior to his move to England, Rhodes played for the Sharks in his native Durban before featuring for the Lions and the Stormers in Super Rugby.

He also featured for the Barbarians and faced the British and Irish Lions in 2009.

Rhodes described his time at the club as “amazing”, “successful” and an “unbelievable experience”.

“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.”

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall hailed Rhodes’ “enormous impact” during his stay at the club.

“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.”

Rhodes made his 107th and final appearance for Saracens on Sunday during the second leg of the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final against Ealing Trailfinders during which they confirmed their promotion to the Gallagher Premiership.

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