Van Zyl: You don’t say no to Saracens

Springbok scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl has expressed his delight at being able to complete his move to Saracens from the Vodacom Bulls on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the Men in Black.

A Super Rugby debutant in 2016, Van Zyl first represented the Blue Bulls in his early teens and progressed through to the franchise’s academy after finishing high school.

His performances for the Blue Bulls Academy earned him a spot in the 2015 SA U20 squad and he appeared in two World Rugby U20 Championships before three years later winning his first Springbok cap.

Van Zyl’s Test debut came against Wales in the summer of 2018 and he went on to play a further four times for his country.

In 2020, the Pretoria-born No 9 helped the Bulls to the inaugural Super Rugby Unlocked title, sniping to score against the Pumas to secure the triumph.

‘It’s not a club you’re going to say no to,’ Van Zyl said.

‘You get some clubs in world rugby that are prestigious and set the bar and tone in most aspects – I believe Saracens are one of those clubs.

‘Not everyone gets the opportunity to play for a club like Saracens and for me, it’s just a huge honour and privilege to be looked at by them, firstly, and then getting the opportunity to get the contract and make the move.

‘Whenever you look at Saracens from the outside, you sort of get jealous, so it’s a massive honour to know I can join up and be a part of the Saracens family.’

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: ‘We are thrilled that Ivan has agreed to join our club.

‘At 25 years old, he has huge potential for growth and his recent form when guiding the Bulls to their Currie Cup triumph was outstanding.

‘Ivan has all the qualities we prize in a scrumhalf and we are excited to help him take his game to new levels in the years ahead.’

In what could turn out to be a positive for the Bulls, the Worcester Warriors completed the signing of England scrumhalf Willi Heinz. Worcester’s first-choice No 9, Francois Hougaard, has been heavily linked with a return to the Bulls.

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack