Aviva Premiership

Sarries legend Burger to retire

Saracens legend Jacques Burger is to retire after Sunday's Premiership contest against Newcastle Falcons.

Back-row Burger has earned a reputation as one of the toughest tacklers to have played in England and his full-blooded approach has made him a firm favourite at Allianz Park.

Having joined Sarries in 2009, Burger has won two Premiership titles and was a member of the side that reached the final of the Heineken Cup in 2014 - his man-of-the-match showing in the semi-final versus Clermont Auvergne among the best of his 113 appearances for the club.

Burger also made 41 caps for Namibia and featured at three Rugby World Cups, and the 32-year-old is aiming to go out on a high against the Falcons.

"Sunday will be the end of something really special for me. Going into the game knowing that it's the last time I'll ever run out on a rugby field is actually quite a nice feeling, as in this game you don't get to do that very often," he told Sarries' official website.

"It is sad that it's coming to an end but I've said this before, playing rugby is something that I have really loved doing. Growing up as a child I wanted to be a professional rugby player, and I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live that dream."

Director of rugby Mark McCall added that Burger will go down as a Sarries great.

"Jacques has been an amazing player and person for Saracens,” said McCall. "He set a phenomenal example on the field with his bravery and the way that he gave everything he could in every game that he played.

"He will always be remembered as one of the true greats of Saracens and hopefully we can give him the send-off he so richly deserves."

Chairman Nigel Wray also paid tribute, adding: "Jacques Burger is probably one of the greatest warriors ever to play for Saracens. Two Premierships and thousands of bone juddering tackles, what an impact he has made."

Burger is now set to return to his homeland to begin a career as a farmer, while Sarries will focus on defending their Premiership crown and winning the European Champions Cup final against Racing 92 in the coming month.