Barritt has options after final Sarries stint

Outgoing Saracens icon Brad Barritt has outlined his plans for life after rugby, but there could be an interesting twist to the final chapter of his illustrious career.

Recently, Barritt signed a short-term contract extension with Saracens to take him through to the end of 2019-20, his final season at the English club.

The 33-year-old has ensured that he will be available for the rest of Saracens’ Premiership campaign and for their European Champions Cup quarter-final as he looks to finish his 12-year career on a high.

Since arriving in north London in late 2008, Barritt has become a cornerstone of the Saracens team, making a current total of 257 appearances for the English side.

The centre has won five Premiership titles – including the team’s first domestic trophy in 2011 – as well as three European titles. Since taking over as captain in 2015, he has led Saracens to three Premiership titles and all of their European trophy wins.

It remains to be seen exactly what path the 33-year-old will take after his final stint with Sarries, but it is understood that there has been tentative communication from the Sharks to see if there could be any possibility of Barritt finishing his career back in Durban.

The tenacious centre left the Sharks in 2008, and would go on to feature in 26 Tests for England, a country for which he had ancestral qualification.

The discussions on a possible return to the Durban-based side are at a particularly informal level, with very little capacity for signings in the current climate, making it more of a pipedream at this stage for any Sharks fan.

As it is, Barritt already has an established business in the UK, and in an interview for the upcoming SA Rugby magazine, he told RYAN VREDE about his entrepreneurial spirit and tentative plans for life after rugby.

‘It [an entrepreneurial spirit] dates back to high school, where it was drummed into me to cultivate a pathway to professional independence. Education was key to that, and it’s why I did my masters in business science while playing. I’ve always told myself that I’m going to be more successful post-rugby than I was during my career, and that’s still the focus. I’d attend evening lectures at the University of Hertfordshire after training.

‘That was hard and I nearly gave up a couple of times. But I always knew there was a bigger picture. I’m involved in a couple of different businesses but the most recent, Tiki Tonga Coffee, is really starting to take off. It’s the official coffee of Tottenham Hotspur and we’ve done collaborations with some big brands, including Guinness and Nike.

‘I was fortunate that the culture at Saracens encouraged players to explore their interests outside rugby. As a leadership group, we said that we need 20% of their time and during that time, we demanded 100% of their effort.

‘What they did with the other 80% of their time was their business, but we encouraged players to invest in themselves in whichever ways were beneficial to their growth as people. The notion that players need to be completely consumed by the game is nonsense. It is what we do, not who we are.’

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Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images