Strettle joins Clermont as Wasps vice-captain Bell forced to retire

Frank Dalleres
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SARACENS wing David Strettle has agreed a summer switch to French side Clermont Auvergne in a move that could jeopardise his hopes of making England’s World Cup squad.

Strettle, 31, has signed a three-year contract with the European Rugby Champions Cup runners-up after a five-season spell at Saracens in which he became the club’s leading Premiership try-scorer.

The former Harlequins player was named in England’s 50-man World Cup training squad last week but head coach Stuart Lancaster has vowed to omit foreign-based talent.

Strettle, who won his second top-flight title with Saracens on Saturday, said: “Something special has been happening at Saracens in the past few years and I feel very privileged to have been part of this period of success.”

Wasps vice-captain Chris Bell, meanwhile, has been forced to retire with a shoulder injury sustained during the club’s first match at their new home in Coventry in December.

The 32-year-old centre joined Wasps from Sale in 2011, following spells at Leeds and Harlequins, and also played for England Saxons.