Wales star’s move to English giants called ‘brave’ by Mark McCall
Saracens boss Mark McCall has hailed Aled Davies’ impact on the club following his “brave” departure from Welsh rugby.
Former Scarlets and Ospreys scrum-half Davies has made the last of his 20 appearances for Wales against 2019 World Cup group stage opponents Uruguay in Japan.
Because he failed to meet Wales’ 60-cap minimum selection eligibility rule for exiled players, Davies knew his Test career would come to a halt.
But the 29-year-old proved a key part of Saracens’ push for the Gallagher Premiership title and their European Challenge Cup campaign which resulted in a semi-final against Toulon on Saturday.
Davies’ first season at Saracens saw him play in the Championship following the club’s relegation for repeated breaches of the salary cap.
They are now back at the top domestic and European table, battling hard for top honors on both fronts.
“Aled was a player we had scouted who we felt had all the ability we wanted in that scrum-half position,” said director of rugby McCall.
“It was a very brave decision on Aled’s part to come here, as having indeed been capped by Wales very early in his career, he was saying goodbye to international rugby whilst here. was a brave move on his part.
“He felt he needed a fresh start and something new. He had moved from the Scarlets to the Ospreys, and things weren’t quite working out the way he had hoped.
“So of course we’re in the league all of a sudden, which isn’t ideal. But he was ready to fit in with the club, which he did.
“Sometimes it takes time in a pivotal position to be the player we knew he was going to be, but he’s been amazing this year.
“His level of performance has been exceptional, and we are very lucky to have him.
“He’s everything you need from a scrum half – his passing and speed between break downs is as good as I’ve seen.
“He’s an incredibly tough competitor, so defensively, he adds really. It’s important that you have all the skills at your disposal, and he also strikes the ball beautifully.
“It’s just his all-around game and his competitive spirit.”
Davies lines up in a Saracens side against Toulon at the Stade Félix-Mayol which sees the return of England prop Mako Vunipola.
Vunipola has been sidelined since injuring his ankle in Saracens’ win over Leicester 10 weeks ago.
Two other changes from Saracens’ quarter-final victory over Gloucester see Max Malins replacing Sean Maitland, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, and Nick Isiekwe returning to the lock alongside Maro Itoje.
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