France star Picamoles coming to the Aviva Premiership
Picamoles to join Northampton on three-year contract ahead of the 2016/17 season
“Louis is a world-class player,” says Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
The 29-year-old was one of the few French players to emerge with any credit from their World Cup campaign
BY STEVEN SMITH
Louis Picamoles, who was one of France’s top performers at this year’s Rugby world Cup, has confirmed he will be joining Northampton ahead of the 2016/17 season on a three-year deal.
The Top 14 star, who has won 51 caps for Les Bleus, helped Toulouse win the 2010 Heineken Cup and the Top 14 title in the following two years.
“I made my decision. I have told my current club,” admitted the back-rower on French radio station RMC Sport.
“Next year, I’m off to Northampton. And for the next three seasons. Above everything, it is a lifestyle choice. I have this opportunity that is open to me.
“Since I will soon be 30 years old, to go abroad is something that has always attracted me and now that the opportunity has been presented, I think it is the right time for me to try this experiment.”
Picamoles spent seven seasons at Toulouse, following five with Montpellier. His future move to Northampton has already got Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder relishing the thought of being able to work with highly-rated the back-rower.
“Louis is a world-class player and a proven performer at the highest level of club and international rugby,” said Mallinder.
“He was France’s standout performer at the World Cup and we’re excited by the prospect of him linking up with the quality players we have here already.”