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Saracens have confirmed that former Australia coach Eddie Jones will succeed Alan Gaffney as the club’s director of rugby at the end of this season.
Jones’ appointment has been in the pipeline since early 2006, when he first joined Saracens in an advisory capacity, and he has signed a three-year deal with the Premiership club.
Gaffney will remain in charge for remainder of this season and then move into a part-time role with the Men In Black.
“It was always agreed that at the end of my two-year contract, I would be stepping down from the role with Eddie taking over,” Gaffney explained.
“With stability at the club at present, this has undoubtedly contributed to our competitiveness in all competitions this season. That stability will continue with Eddie and with the long-term commitment he can give to Saracens, I think this is best for the club.
“Eddie and I come from the same club in Sydney and we share similar views on the game so I would expect this to be a seamless transition.”
Gaffney guided Saracens to fourth place in the Premiership last season, their best finish since 2000 and the club are competing for honours on three fronts this season.
“We have an exciting second half of the campaign ahead of us as we sit third in the Guinness Premiership, at the top of our pool in the Heineken Cup and in the semi-finals of the EDF Energy Cup,” Gaffney added.
Jones coached Australia to the 2003 World Cup final, where the Wallabies lost to England, but he claimed a winners’ medal last year after acting as technical advisor with South Africa.
Saracens chief executive Mark Sinderberry said: “Eddie enjoyed a successful spell with the club at the end of the 2006 season it was always part of our long-term planning that he would return.
“Eddie’s knowledge of Saracens and his close relationship with Alan means we are expecting a seamless transition.
“I am delighted that Alan will be remaining with the club in a part-time role and he will continue to be a huge asset to Saracens.”