CALLUM HUNTER-HILL has officially left Edinburgh Rugby and signed a permanent deal with Saracens following a successful season-long loan with the English club.
The former Stirling County and Scotland Under-20s captain was contracted with Edinburgh up until the summer of 2021, but fell out of favour under head coach Richard Cockerill and, after short-term loan spells with London Scottish and Newcastle Falcons, he moved to Allianz Park on an academy loan deal last September.
The 23-year-old made ten appearances for Saracens (six starts and four bench appearances) in the Gallagher Premiership and Champions Cup last season, and has now been awarded with a deal which will keep him in London until the summer of 2023.
“It’s a mixture of relief and just happiness,” said Hunter-Hill. “No questions about it really, I was totally excited and really keen to sign my future here and settle down at such a great environment and a great place to be.
“I’m so excited to fulfil the potential I feel I’ve been riding off for quite a while and really keen to get the most out of myself and here really is the best place to do that.
“It’s a pretty exciting project to be a part of. The young players here are going to take their game to another level next year in the Championship and that’s going to be a great thing.
“I really wanted to be a part of that and I really want to be a part of that rebuild not only for next year but for the foreseeable future.”
Director of Rugby Mark McCall welcomed the news “Callum has fitted in well among the squad and has made steady progress in the short time he has been with us,” he said. “We are very pleased to sign him on a permanent basis and that he will be with us for the challenge of next season and beyond.”
Hunter-Hill will link up with fellow Scottish second-row Tim Swinson at Saracens, who has come out of retirement to sign a 12-month deal with his childhood club, and the pair will compete for game time alongside England and Lions superstar Maro Itoje, who has chosen not to leave the club following its enforced relegation from the Premiership for salary cap breaches.
However, three other leading second-rows at the club have moved on, with George Kruis joining Panasonic White Knights in Japan Nick Isiekwe off to Northampton Saints on loan and Will Skelton heading to La Rochelle.