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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

Saracens are delighted to announce the signing of South African international flanker Schalk Burger for the 2016 / 2017 season.

The world class Springbok loose forward will link-up with the reigning Aviva Premiership champions for the 2016 / 2017 season after signing a 2-year deal with the Allianz Park club.

Renowned as 1 of world rugby’s finest loose forwards, Burger has captained South Africa during his stellar 12-year international career and is a former IRB World Player of the year. He has won 86 caps for the Springboks and holds the record for the most tries (14) for a loose forward for his country.

Burger will link up with Saracens after a spell with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath and Super Rugby’s Stormers.

On his future move to Saracens, the 32-year old Burger said: “I’m delighted to be joining Saracens. I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to play in both the Aviva Premiership and the European Cup, 2 of the leading competitions in world rugby for such a special club. It’s an exciting challenge for me and my family and hopefully I can add a lot of value both on and off the field to an already successful group of players and coaches. I’m looking forward to playing alongside my new teammates and playing in front of all the Saracens fans and getting to know everyone at Allianz Park.”

Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall: “Schalk is a Springbok legend, and will add a huge amount of experience and quality to our young English pack of forwards at the club. We have always talked about having the right blend of experience and youth in our squad, so to be able to add one of the world’s finest players to the group is extremely exciting news. By the beginning of next season we will have lost 2 highly experienced back row forwards in Ernst Joubert and Jacques Burger, so to have a player of Schalk’s calibre coming into the squad is fantastic news.”

He is a man who has achieved everything there is to achieve in the game of rugby. Not only is he a fine rugby player, he is a humble and down to earth guy who we believe we will fit into the Saracens environment. We’re all very excited to welcome Schalk and his family to Allianz Park for the 2016 season.”


Schalk Burger Fact File:

Position: Back-row
Height: 6 ft 4 in Weight: 251 lb

  • World Cup winner (2007)
  • Has played in the Rugby World Cup four times (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
  • SA Rugby Player of the Year (2004 & 2011)
  • Young SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee (2003 & 2004)
  • IRB Player of the Year (2004)
  • Holds the record for the most Test tries by a Springbok flanker (14), with England and New Zealand the teams he has scored the most tries against (three)
  • Springbok captain no. 55 in history.
  • Burger made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers in 2004 and his Currie Cup bow for Western Province the same year.



67 Responses to Saracens sign Stormers Springbok Goliath Schalk Burger

  • 51

    robzim wrote:

    @ provincefan:

    There is no reason to believe that the Cheetahs and the Lions will not again be amongst the worst teams in the competition. In fact i am about 99 percent sure they will be, that is just how it is.

    I think the Lions will fare well against the other SA sides, they have a settled team and last year’s CC will have given them more confidence….also the quality of the other SA sides is poor.
    They will probably struggle against the NZ opposition, they might surprise though, they play a similar attacking type of game.
    Cheetahs will do better without Willie….we saw the last few years how his body language on the field for them was one of abject frustration more than anything else, he was the big fish in the little pond and tried to do too much every time he got the ball….also his last line of defense is non existent.
    If they can learn to defend they might just be competive, they don’t usually struggle to score tries, they just allow the opposition to score more tries than them too easily.

  • 52

    robzim wrote:

    @ provincefan:

    There is no reason to believe that the Cheetahs and the Lions will not again be amongst the worst teams in the competition. In fact i am about 99 percent sure they will be, that is just how it is.

    The lions and cheetahs will again hope to stay relatively injury free to stay competetive.

  • 53


  • 54


    The Lions should do well,in fact I’d say they’d be early front-runners in 2016 along with the Highlanders,Brumbies and Canes.I know Nortie will throw the Waratahs in that mix aswell,but they do have a new coach in Daryl Gibson,although he’s not a step back from the maestro that is Cheika,but what they haven’t done is freshen their squad.Still I reckon the Tahs will be in the top 3 and a certainty for a semi-final slot.

    The Lions backrow can cause havoc when let loose…Warwick Tecklenburg,Jaco Kriel and Warren Whitely…so I’d expect more destruction coming from them this season.They were only one or two away wins away from making the play-off’s last season,so Akkers would know what went wrong and would prepare for that in 2016.Then throw in a fearsome pack,exciting centres/wingers and the Lions will do much better this year than 2015.

    The Cheetahs are nowhere near the surprise package from 2013.They are now notably bare in the front-row,coupled with the absence of Brüssow,Cornal Hendricks,Jean Cook,Willie and a host of other departed players and it looks painful for the Cheetahs.

  • 55


    How do you reckon the Stormers season will go?

    Here’s my take on it…

    A shambolic/chaotic coaching shuffle to begin with is our biggest excuse if this season is worst then last year.A shaky 10 in Kurt Coleman,who is no general,but can he improve if he gets continuity???Doubt that very much…Won’t be surprise if interim-man Fleckie plays Leyds at 10 at some point,cause he has played in that role at Bishops.We have an all-Bok pack(Frans,Koch,Eben,PSDT,Kolisi,Burger)not a bad engine room,with lightning steppers in the backline,might just be enough in that to top our Allende needed a break anyway,so he’d come in handy just when we need him.

    So we start with 3 derbies,then face the Brumbies,the Jaguares and the Sunwolves(which should be fun to watch).
    We then go to Joburg for a Lions derby,then play the Reds and Tahs,and then the Sunwolves again.We then finish with 2 “easy” derbies and 2 games in Oz.

    GREAT SEASON COMING FOR THE STORMERS????Maybe not…if it all works out we then play a NZ team in the grand final.I must think positive Nortie,to block out the Stormers headaches.

    Watching rugby these days has now become a 24hr thingy…Ulster,Bath,Saracens,Toulon,Japan…only way to keep track of our SA boys.

  • 56

    @ provincefan:
    I’m not optimistic about our chances at all.
    Some here will say it’s because I’m the president of the glass half empty club, I prefer to think it’s because I’m realistic….semantics I guess :lol:
    In 20 years of trying we haven’t managed to win SR, and we have had some good teams in the past, so why some would think that we have a chance with this current squad is beyond me.
    I hope we at least beat the Bulls once, twice will be great and I hope we don’t lose the game against the Sharks.
    We might make up the numbers come playoff time, but that would be a bonus.
    Until we get a decent coach and a world class 10 I can’t see us being really competitive against the better sides.
    I know in Eben and PSdT we now have two of the better locks, but both are injury prone and we don’t have a hooker who can find his target (since the days of Deon Fourie we haven’t had a hooker who could throw decently under pressure)
    As you also mentioned, we don’t have a fetcher who can compete either.
    Let’s see how the season goes, IAAS (the president of the glass so full it’s running over club) will tell us how good we will be doing :lol:
    Nama, who hovers between being very optimistic about the Stormers, yet tempers his optimism with good doses of reality will give us a rundown of which matches we will be winning and which we will lose.
    Stormersboy will tell us that this year is our year….hopefully this time he is right

  • 57

    This year is definitely going to be our year!


    Seriously though, it’s a squad with major holes in it, not the least being the coaching.

    Win or lose I will be there with my jersey on screaming my lungs out


  • 58

    Foreignerforbokcoach wrote:

    This year is definitely going to be our year!

    Seriously though, it’s a squad with major holes in it, not the least being the coaching.

    Win or lose I will be there with my jersey on screaming my lungs out

    Hey SB, you must change your nick back, or are you going to wait till end of March when they appoint the Bok coach?

    Will have to wait till the last round before we can go to Loftus to watch us smash the Bulls

  • 59

    @ nortie:
    I am living in hope, but it seems that AC is the likely appointment, particularly with the timing to coincide with the end of the Japanese season.

    There is some talk about Wayne Smith floating around…… but who knows.

  • 60

    @ Foreignerforbokcoach:
    AC will probably get it….from the SA coaches’ point of view it’s only fair.
    He has paid his dues, been head coach of a franchise for quite a long time and being a previous assistant Bok coach will also help.
    I won’t have an issue if he gets the job, can’t see him doing worse than the previous coach

  • 61

    @ nortie:
    Agreed. I don’t see him doing a whole lot better though to be honest.

    Hence my nic.

  • 62

    @ Foreignerforbokcoach:
    Yep, we will continue to lose against NZ and Aus, but I think we will beat Japan under him

  • 63

    nortie wrote:

    Some here will say it’s because I’m the president of the glass half empty club

    Hi nortie, there may be things that you could be accused of being but surely not this… think if I told you I thought my glass was half empty you would have a look and tell me that it was completely empty Tounge-Out

  • 64

    31 @ nortie:
    Do not know anything about what really happened there nortie but think it is a pity that you feel you lost respect for Josh Strauss. Having been fortunate enough to have met and had a chat with the man I think he is great bloke, and he is well loved by Glasgow Warriors. The kind of man I would gladly invite over for a braai, was just sorry that we didn’t have more time to chat back then. Besides our antipodean friends on here have often warned about Mr’s Jones and Mitchell, and we all know how the Jones appointment went.

  • 65

    The perfect principle to use in deciding a Bok coach would be The Peter Principle,however given the wide range of skills a Bok coaching job requires,then AC fits in with the “level of competence” right now considering that there ain’t that many options locally.

    Rumour has that should AC get the Bok job,then Rassie will play a much more hands-on role like he did at the Stormers in 2010 and WP 08-10.Must be that Strategic Performance Management thingy SARU is running.SARU will keep the Mobi unit in place with Nienaber to coach the defence.

    Mobi is also running the Kings right now which is suppose to be dress rehearsal for what’s to come when they appoint AC as Bok coach.And Rassie is now overseeing their pre-season as well.So I’d expect the Kings to be VERY good technically this season.

  • 66

    The lack of accountability is astounding when it comes to the leadership of South African rugby, writes MARK KEOHANE.

    Again, the integrity of South African rugby’s national leadership is under question. Again, there are more questions than answers when it comes to the appointment of the next Springbok coach.

    There is no accountability for statements made and never a consequence. The public is owed honesty but it’s far-fetched to believe the current leadership is capable of anything but sidestepping the main issues around the Bok team and the governance of professional rugby in this country.

    It’s convenient practice for the president to refer to the CEO to avoid an answer and for the CEO to refer to the president.

    It’s not going to change under the current leadership, which doesn’t mean it must not or cannot be highlighted every time there is avoidance to a question.

    Surely, when it comes to the Springboks, the most important thing is appointing the best available option to coaching the national team.

    This coach obviously would have to buy into every aspect of transformation and every numbers game Saru’s administration and the politicians believe represents an advancement on transformation.

    Forget for a moment how misguided this may be or how effective it may be.

    Let’s just look at the appointment.

    The Boks were a shambles in 2015 and hugely disappointing at the World Cup. The potential of 2013 never materialised and Heyneke Meyer did the honourable thing in stepping aside.

    Now for the successor.

    The initial speculation was the appointment had been made and it was former Stormers coach Allistair Coetzee.

    Saru president Regan Hoskins, in December, told the media Coetzee’s appointment was news to him and that there was no haste to appoint a new coach. He said Saru had to explore every avenue to get the right man appointed and that transformation would be at the heart of the new coach’s performance-related key performance indicators. He said anyone who applied for the job had to understand the emphasis on transformation. He spoke of spreading the net as far as it could go and he said the leadership would entertain the prospect of a foreign coach if he was the best qualified and he agreed to all the transformation targets and goals.

    Now the job won’t be advertised.

    Now it will be down to the leadership’s idea of who represents the right candidate. The operational process is the responsibility of the CEO, who then makes a recommendation to the administration, who then, by way of all 14 provincial presidents, appoint the coach.

    Rugby acumen will be secondary to political agendas. That’s a given.

    But at least allow the job to be advertised so that it takes the potential list of successors beyond the thoughts of an existing leadership. At least, that’s the way it should be if the ultimate is to get the best to make the Springboks the best.

    I know for a fact that Jake White wanted to apply to coach the Boks. Could this be why the post won’t be advertised?

    Regardless of your thoughts of White, the person or White, the rugby coach. Here’s Saru’s dilemma: The leadership can’t stand White, the person. But they can’t counter White’s rugby CV. He won the U21 World Cup for South Africa. He won a Tri-Nations for South Africa. He won the World Cup for the Springboks. He coached the Brumbies for two seasons and in year two they won the Australian conference, beat the Bulls in South Africa in the semi-finals and narrowly lost the final to the Chiefs in New Zealand. The following year he won the South African Super Rugby conference with the Sharks, won a home play-off against the Highlanders and lost an away semi-final to the Crusaders.

    White wants to be involved with the Springboks. If the job was advertised and he agreed to every transformation condition, in terms of quotas or ‘targets’ in terms of black player representation, then what? Then the leadership is stuffed. How does it dismiss the quality of his application, unless the directive is the next coach cannot be white, by name, or white by colour.

    Those who are headhunting Meyer’s successor have never been held accountable or held themselves accountable for the appointment of Meyer or his predecessor Peter de Villiers, neither of whom delivered a World Cup gold medal.

    The questions must continued to be asked and the rugby public should know there are forums to ask those questions.

    The lack of accountability is astounding when it comes to the leadership. Nothing sticks.

    The Stormers’ decision not to appoint former Lions coach John Mitchell is an example of the ugliness in South African rugby and the weighted influence of those elected officials to dictate the professionalism of a professional game.

    Hoskins, as Saru president, applauded Western Province president Thelo Wakefield for ensuring Mitchell was not appointed Stormers coach.

    Western Province director of rugby Gert Smal recommended Mitchell to replace Eddie Jones, who lasted a week before taking the more lucrative England job.

    Smal was overruled by an administration that was influenced by senior players, Hoskins and, according to Hoskins, the president of the Golden Lions Rugby Union, Kevin de Klerk.

    Hoskins was widely quoted as saying he and De Klerk advised Wakefield to stay away from Mitchell. This was based on their experience of him when Mitchell was charged with 28 counts of bringing the game into disrepute, but after a disciplinary hearing had all 28 counts dropped.

    Mitchell was reinstated as Lions coach and then left on his terms given the obvious breakdown in trust between players, president and coach.

    A month after Hoskins was quoted defending Wakefield’s decision and elaborating on his and De Klerk’s advice to Wakefield, De Klerk tells the media he had nothing to do with the Stormers’ decision.

    Then he told a few days later that he did speak with Wakefield ‘before or after’ the decision was made. And so the recollection comes and goes to suit the agenda.

    It sadly will never stop, which again doesn’t mean questions shouldn’t or can’t be asked, like why, how and who?

    What is the harm in advertising the post of Bok coach?

    What was the dynamic behind the energy drink (Bok Pulse) aligned with the Springboks in 2015? Was there a conflict of interest in the how of the deal?

    When does the president of Saru front up and be accountable? When does the CEO? And what is the consequence?

    Don’t ever expect an answer from within Saru, don’t expect us to not ask the questions and please never stop asking the questions yourselves.

    The Springbok coaching job will not be advertised, with the possible candidates to replace Heyneke Meyer set to be approached during an intensive ongoing process.

    Although some had expected the new Bok coach to be named as early as last December when the general council met in Cape Town, it was agreed that the necessary due diligence needed to be conducted in ensuring the best candidates are sounded out.

    Saru CEO Jurie Roux is driving the process of recruitment, with a final recommendation then set to be tabled for approval when the general council next meets in March. If the post had been opened up to applications, understood that former Bok coach Jake White would have applied.

    Although Allister Coetzee has been widely recognised as the front-runner to take over from Meyer, it’s believed that this is quite some way from being a done deal. Lions coach Johan Ackermann and former Sharks coach John Plumtree have been touted as other contenders, while there has also been talk that Rassie Erasmus is being considered for the role.

  • 67

    Clearly, Transformation will not be the reason for SA Rugby’s downfall.

    I dont understand why AC isn’t just appointed, sure we have a problem with quality coaches, but I know as will most other people, sometimes when the situation is so bad, delaying your troubles will only make it even worse.

    I at least hope SARU is in negotiations with someone, though I am not too optimistic.

    “Western Province director of rugby Gert Smal recommended Mitchell to replace Eddie Jones, who lasted a week before taking the more lucrative England job.”

    Gosh are we still on this, The England coaching job is one of the most powerful in the world… no one would even question Eddie if he turned down his manager post at Kinky Fresh Chicken in Cape Town to be the CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken in London, being the English coach is a well sought after position and probably the prime coaching post in terms of resources in the whole world.

    On Jake, I could never decide if I like him or not, sitting on the fence, he made a few bold decisions and some excellent ones, even his loyalty is questionable, but I must say, he is slowly persuading me with the balls he has to apply for this post again after a long history with SA Rugby in general, that audacity is maybe exactly what we need, but what SARU dictators are terrified of.


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