AAP Rugby

Rugby champions ‘sorry’ for cap breaches

By AAP Newswire

Saracens have accepted their imposed relegation from the English Premiership and pledged to win back confidence and trust.

The defending champions were told on Saturday they would be relegated at the end of the season for the salary cap breaches which have already cost them 35 points and a STG36million ($A68 million) fine.

Winners of four league titles in the last five years, Saracens will play in the Championship next term, having faced the impossible task of reducing their wage bill by up to STG2m ($A3.8 millon) to comply with regulations for the current season.

The latest chapter in their fall from grace was delivered by Premiership Rugby on Saturday night and, ahead of a European encounter with Racing 92 on Sunday, the club have accepted their fate.

In a statement entitled 'Saracens accepts relegation from the Gallagher Premiership', the club said: "The board of Saracens wishes to apologise unreservedly for the mistakes made in relation to the salary cap regulations.

"Our goal is to rebuild confidence and trust.

"Furthermore, following open and frank discussions with (Premiership Rugby), we have accepted the unprecedented measure of automatic relegation from the Premiership at the end of the 2019-2020 season.

Saracens' acceptance means the prospect of a drawn-out appeal process is over, but questions will quickly turn to the futures of their big-name players.

They are currently bottom of the table with minus seven points, lying 18 points behind 11th-placed Leicester.