Saracens second rower will Skelton has emerged as a contender for the Wallabies World Cup squad with Saracens saying they have resigned to losing their impactful second rower during the World Cup.
Skelton has enjoyed his best season yet for the London club as he was hugely influential in their Champions Cup campaign and has helped the side to a Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs this weekend.
It is believed that the lock could follow in the footsteps of Exeter Chiefs halfback Nic White in signing a Super Rugby deal for 2020.
This would make Skelton eligible to play Test rugby for the Wallabies before returning to Saracens for one more season before heading to Australia.
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Speaking to Rugbycomau, Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said he would welcome the return of Skelton to the national side.
“He's a massive unit,” he said.
“He's a unique person in that someone that big can be on the footy field and he can turn a game.
“Been plenty of games where he's turned it through his size.
“That's always been the hard thing for him around being mobile enough to get the repeat efforts.
“From the game I saw in the European Cup final, he was amazing. A lot of repeat involvements so he's playing good rugby.”
Skelton's season stats for Saracens in the Premiership and Champions Cup
Skelton signed a new two-year deal with Saracens this year when he did not fit the Wallabies’ criteria for selecting players from abroad. However, with Australia stretching their eligibility rules like in White's case, Skelton could return to the Wallabies.
Saracens' Director of Rugby Mark McCall spoke to AAP and said that he wants his star lock to stay onboard with Saracens but admitted that he cannot and will not stand in the way of Skelton should he decide to cut his current contract to return to Australia.
“Will has spoken to me about it,” McCall told AAP.
“He is keen to play in the World Cup, but he is also keen to play for Saracens, which is quite complex.
“There hasn’t been much contact from Australia, but I think there will be and we want our players to play in the World Cup.
“For that to happen he probably has to sign longer term there, which is not what we want but if that is what Will decides, that is what he decides.”
"Poor old Gareth Steenson, being ATOMISED by a giant Wallaby!"— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 4, 2019
Will Skelton with an almighty bosh and the offload for the assist!
It is just NOT SAFE to try and tackle him at full speed ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/Vd7n9Mmv4V