Saracens blown away by 'courageous and incredible' Wales star who gave up international career to play for them
Wales scrum-half Aled Davies has been hailed for the impact he's had at English giants Saracens following his 'courageous' move from the Ospreys.
Davies, who has won 20 caps for his country, ended the prospect of winning any more by swapping west Wales for north London in 2020. However, when the deal was announced, Saracens had already been relegated from the Gallagher Premiership for salary cap breaches.
As such, his first season with the club was spent in the Championship - just a year on from featuring for Wales at the 2019 World Cup. However, his decision paid off - with Saracens now back in the Premiership and Davies a key component of a side pushing for titles on both domestic and European fronts.
This weekend, he'll be partnering England captain Owen Farrell in a European Challenge Cup semi-final against Toulon. And Saracens boss Mark McCall is full of credit for the impact the Welshman has had since arriving at the club.
“Aled was a player we had spotted who we thought had all the capabilities that we wanted in that scrum-half position,” rugby director McCall said.
“It was a very brave move from Aled to come here, because effectively having been capped by Wales very early in his career he was saying goodbye to international rugby while he was here. It was a courageous move for him to make.
“He felt that 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.
“Then of course, we are in the Championship all of a sudden, which is not ideal. But he was prepared to embed himself in the club, which he has done.
“Sometimes it takes time in a pivotal position to be the player that we knew he was going to be, but he has been incredible this year.
“His performance level has been outstanding, and we are very lucky to have him.
“He is everything you need from a scrum-half – his passing and his speed between breakdowns is as good as I’ve seen.
“He is an incredibly tough competitor, so defensively, he really adds. It is important you have all the skills at your disposal, and he kicks the ball beautifully as well.
“It’s just his all-round game and his competitive spirit.”