Saracens: Players could represent England if club relegated from Premiership

England squad
Nine Saracens players represented England at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the eight pictured and scrum-half Ben Spencer who was called up later and came off the bench in the final defeat by South Africa

Saracens' star players would still be able to play for England even if they are relegated from the Premiership to the second-tier Championship.

The defending champions are facing the drop at the end of the season for exceeding salary cap limits.

While this would probably lead to a dismantling of the squad, playing in the Championship would not stop players from representing England.

Nine Saracens players appeared for England at the recent Rugby World Cup.

"If I was a player in that situation - particularly a senior international - do I actually accept that this would be helpful to prolong my career?" Hannah Bowe from player recruitment industry experts Esportif Intelligence told BBC Sport.

"Play a couple of games in the Championship along with an international season, and be in a position in which you are fit and well a bit longer.

"Eddie Jones may take the view he has access to train these guys for a season, and England benefit. I would be surprised if Eddie Jones is not considering the benefit to English rugby."

Saracens would not be eligible to play in next season's Champions Cup, however, if they are relegated from the Premiership - even if they won Europe's top competition this season.

Winning the Champions Cup usually guarantees qualification for the tournament the following year.

Holders Saracens can qualify for the knockout stages with a win over Racing 92 on Sunday.

However, under the current regulations, in order to participate in European club rugby tournaments you must be a member of the Premiership, the Pro 14 or the French Top 14 in that season.

The only exception is the two clubs from emerging nations that participate in the Challenge Cup.

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