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Saracens have been handed an enormous 35-point deduction and fine in excess of £5m by Premiership Rugby (PRL) for breaking salary cap rules.
The reigning champions are currently fourth in the Gallagher Premiership, with nine points, but now face a fight for survival after being hit by the biggest sanction in the history of the league. Such a deduction last season would have left them third from bottom of the table.
Saracens have announced they will appeal against the “heavy-handed” sanctions imposed upon them.
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The findings of a seven-month investigation by the PRL were withheld while the Rugby World Cup was ongoing so as not to disrupt the progress of the England national team, which contained nine Saracens players including the captain Owen Farrell.
Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy and Mako Vunipola were among several players to have property-sharing arrangements with the club’s owner, Nigel Wray, as revealed by theDaily Mailearlier this year.
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