Northampton Saints confirm 16 leavers, major stars depart this summer - Ruck

Northampton Saints confirm 16 leavers, major stars depart this summer

Northampton Saints have officially announced the departure of 16 players from the Club following the conclusion of the 2023/24 season, among whom are THREE England internationals.

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Northampton Saints confirm 16 departures:

Alex Moon to Bayonne

Gabriel Hamer-Webb to Cardiff

Courtney Lawes to Brive

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.

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

“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.”

Alex Waller (Retired)

Ethan Waller (Retired)

Lewis Ludlam to Toulon

Paul Hill to Edinburgh

Tom Cruse (Retired)

Matthew Arden (Released)

Callum Braley (Released)

Aston Gradwick-Light (Released)

George Irvine (Released)

Joel Matavesi (Released)

George Patten (Released)

Kayde Sylvester (Released)

Nick Tarr (Released)

Five England players set to swap nations after falling out of favour 

World Rugby’s latest eligibility rules have opened up the door for several prominent England players to potentially switch allegiances to different countries.

Under these new regulations, players can become eligible to represent another nation if they refrain from Test rugby for three years and have a birth connection to the desired country or through a parent or grandparent.

#1. Ollie Hassell-Collins (Wales)

The Leicester Tigers winger, who was given his debut by Borthwick in 2023, has expressed his willingness to potentially represent Wales in 2026.

Despite earning two caps for England during last year’s Six Nations, the 25-year-old hasn’t been included in Steve Borthwick’s squad since then. Notably, he was absent from England A’s recent triumph over Portugal.

Ahead of this year’s Six Nations, Gatland had mentioned Hassell-Collins several times, especially during the discussion surrounding another dual-qualified winger, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

“I have seen Gatland’s interview,” Hassell-Collins told the Telegraph.

“I’ve got two caps for England, and obviously I’m English. But if I don’t see anything in the next few years then it’s definitely something that I would consider.

“I would qualify [for Wales] the year of the World Cup – that is, if he still wants me. Wales is still part of who I am.

“My grandma was Welsh and I still have family over there. It’s still a part of me – and I’d never turn it down – but for now it’s England for me.”