Northampton fans braced for ‘end of an era’ with five players set to depart this summer - Ruck

Northampton fans braced for ‘end of an era’ with five players set to depart this summer

Northampton Saints supporters brace themselves for the imminent departure of five beloved stars from Franklin’s Gardens, marking what many describe as the “end of an era.”

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As the current season draws to a close, several players find themselves at the end of their contracts, facing the decision of whether to renew their ties with the club or pursue lucrative offers elsewhere.

Among the departing figures is Courtney Lawes, a revered figure in Northampton whose roots run deep within the town. Having dedicated his entire career to the Saints since his debut in 2007, the 35-year-old’s departure signals a significant shift in the team’s dynamics.

Here, we delve into the profiles of the five players who have already confirmed their exits from Northampton, leaving fans grappling with a sense of nostalgia and anticipation for the future.

#1. Courtney Lawes

Lawes, the stalwart of Northampton Saints, will bid farewell to the club at the season’s end, embarking on a new chapter with French outfit Brive.

With an illustrious career spanning 17 seasons and encompassing 274 appearances at Franklin’s Gardens, Lawes leaves behind an indelible legacy.

Courtney Lawes of England continues his recovery from injury during the England Rugby Training camp at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park on 30 Jan. 2023 Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Reflecting on his departure, the 35-year-old acknowledged Northampton’s efforts to retain him, yet cited Brive’s offer as “transformative” for both himself and his family.

“I want to make it clear that I really would have liked to end my career as a one-club man, and Saints did absolutely everything they possibly could to make that happen – our conversations were all very positive,” said Lawes.

“But, first and foremost, I have to make sure that my family and I are in the best position possible for my retirement, which will be in the next couple of years.

“This is likely to be the last contract I’ll ever sign, and the offer I have received to play overseas will be transformational for my family, so there was no way I could turn it down and I took the decision to move away from Northampton.”