Saints land England flanker Haskell

Northampton Saints have signed England flanker James Haskell on a one-year deal following his release by Wasps. 

Wasps announced in January that the long-serving British and Irish Lions back-row would leave the club for a second time at the end of the season.

Haskell was last week left out of England’s squad to tour South Africa, but the 33-year-old has kept himself in contention to play in the 2019 Rugby World Cup by joining the Saints in a new era under Chris Boyd.

“I’m really excited and humbled to be joining a giant of English rugby in Northampton Saints,” said Haskell, capped 77 times by England.

“Having had the opportunity to play against them for many years now, I know this is a club with a proud history and a set of passionate and loyal supporters who always make their presence felt.

“It’s no secret that I want to continue my international career for as long as possible; the only way I can do that is by putting my best foot forward in club rugby and helping Saints fight their way back into contention for silverware.

“There’s a real buzz around Franklin’s Gardens at the moment with the arrival of Chris Boyd, a new coaching team being put in place and a number of top-quality players also joining the squad. I can’t wait to get started in black, green and gold.”

Incoming director of rugby Boyd says Haskell has a lot to offer on and off the field.

“We’re thrilled to have captured James’ signature for next season, as he’s a player that can bring so much to Saints,” said the New Zealander.

“Not only is he a superb leader with bags of experience at the very highest level, but James is clearly still extremely hungry to win trophies in club and international rugby.

“His record speaks for itself and I have no doubt that he will be an excellent fit for Northampton, both in the side and within the club.”

Wasps earlier confirmed the signing of Harlequins second row Charlie Matthews.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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