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Owen Farrell to have a clear meeting with his English team mates before the Saracens report

The England captain expressed his wish at the championship launch in London on Wednesday that the Algarve get-together would represent an opportunity for healing but he could face further tensions when the full detail of the fallen champions’ cheating is revealed.

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A leaked summary of the 103-page dossier obtained by Sky News on Wednesday night outlined how Saracens owner had entered into property joint ventures totalling £1.3m with leading players including Maro Itoje who was also paid £95,000 for supposed hospitality work for a company run by Wray’s daughter Lucy at the club’s Allianz Park which was never undertaken.

Wray and two other directors also paid £1.6m for a 30 per stake in Itoje’s image rights company when the shares were only worth £800,000 according to an accountancy firm used by Premiership Rugby.

In all the overspend above the salary cap by Saracens was £1.1m in 2016/17, £98,000 in 2017/18 and £906,000 in 2018/19.
Saracens chief executive Ed Griffiths confirmed the joint investment schemes had been ended. However the club will not allow their books to be opened up for independent scrutiny, raising the question of what else may permanently remain hidden from view.

“We carefully considered the option of a full investigatory audit,” said Golding. “However, that inevitably would have involved a long period of more financial and emotional strain and this in turn meant this was not a viable option for us.”
Saracens also appear to have no intention of returning the two Premiership trophies they won while over the salary cap which remains a source of anger amongst their rivals.

The scandal will be raised when the national squad, including Farrell and six other Saracens players, meet at their Vilamoura training base on Wednesday.
“Eddie said the other day that if we need to speak about it as a group we will. When we get together it will be clear because we are very good at being honest and open about stuff and sorting things out so we will see if we need to,” said Farrell.

“It’s a strength of the group the amount of boys that do work hard to bring everyone together so I’m sure it’s not going to be any different this time.

“I felt like we grew a lot in the summer as a group and I’m sure everyone is excited about getting together and looking forward.

“For me personally I’m unbelievably excited to get into England camp and get going with the Six Nations.”

The backdrop makes for uncharted territory for any England squad. The intention of the Saracens stars to remain with the club that dishonestly deprived their rivals of players and success is hardly likely to engender goodwill – even though the club insist cuts and possible loan moves elsewhere will enable them to meet the cap next season.

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