"Grayson and Sleightholme leave" - Northampton Saints confirm seven players to depart this summer - Ruck

“Grayson and Sleightholme leave” – Northampton Saints confirm seven players to depart this summer

Northampton Saints have confirmed that seven further players will leave the Club at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

The group has 47 appearances between them in Black, Green and Gold, and will move on to pastures new this summer.

Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson, said: “The end of every season is always a difficult time for the squad, as naturally a number of players within the group move on – whether they are retiring from rugby, progressing into the next stage of their professional careers, or switching clubs in search of more opportunities to play consistently.

“This group of players have all made contributions to our group in their own individual ways, on and off the pitch, and we’ll wish them the very best moving forward.”

#2038, 21 apps, 5 points

Samoan international Nansen linked up with Saints from French Top14 side Brive ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

Nansen – who can line up at lock or in the back row – had previously enjoyed stints with North Harbour in the Mitre10 Cup Championship, Super Rugby side the Blues, Top14 outfit Stade Français, and Welsh region the Dragons.

After representing New Zealand Schoolboys back in 2011, Nansen elected to represent Samoa at international level and made his debut in 2017 as he lined up against Romania in Bucharest before featuring twice more for the Manu.

Nansen made his Saints debut against Sale Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership in November 2021, the first of 21 appearances in Black, Green and Gold – with his only try for the Club coming earlier this season in a Premiership Rugby Cup victory up at Newcastle Falcons.

#1943, 14 apps, 0 points

Having originally worked his way through Saints’ Academy system, Hobbs-Awoyemi returned to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in the summer of 2020 after a four-year stint at London Irish.

The Northampton-born loosehead rose through the ranks of the Club’s age-group system before signing on permanently and making his senior debut in Black, Green and Gold against Dragons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2014.

His first stint at Saints saw Hobbs-Awoyemi make four appearances with the first team. He also spent a period on loan at Birmingham Moseley before making the switch to Premiership rivals London Irish ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Hobbs-Awoyemi would make 50 appearances for the Exiles, who he helped to promotion back to the Gallagher Premiership in 2019, before he made the return to his hometown Club the following year and added ten more Saints caps to his tally in three seasons.