Connect with us

Premiership

All Blacks centre signs for Northampton Saints

Tidy bit of business for the Premiership side as the Souther Hemisphere exodus continues.

Published

on

Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Northampton Saints can today announced that Kiwi centre Matt Proctor will join the Club from Super Rugby side Hurricanes.

The 26-year-old New Zealand international is director of rugby Chris Boyd’s first new signing for next season, with a raft of current Saints already penning deals to remain at Franklin’s Gardens.

“For a long time now, I have had the ambition of testing myself in the Northern Hemisphere and for so many reasons Northampton is a great fit for me.”

Matt Proctor

omfortable both on the wing and at fullback, Proctor has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Southern Hemisphere in recent seasons.

And after committing to make the switch across the world to the Gallagher Premiership, Proctor is already relishing the prospect of a new challenge on English soil with Northampton.

“I am excited to have signed for such a prestigious club in Northampton Saints,” said Proctor.

“For a long time now, I have had the ambition of testing myself in the Northern Hemisphere and for so many reasons Northampton is a great fit for me.

“Not only will I have the opportunity to be coached again by Chris Boyd – the person I have worked with the most as a professional player – but I will also have the honour of joining a Club that is steeped in tradition and boasts a rich history of success.

“The Club and I share the same goals in wanting to achieve as much success as possible on the pitch, while also contributing to the wider rugby community off the field; so overall I am thrilled to be heading to Franklin’s Gardens.”

After making his Super Rugby debut in 2013, Wellington-born Proctor was part of the Hurricanes side that – under Boyd – secured the title three years later.

He celebrated his 50th appearance for the franchise in 2018, while also being named captain for Wellington Lions’ Mitre 10 Cup campaign.

“Matt is exactly the calibre of player that we want to be bringing to Northampton.”

Chris Boyd

In the same season Proctor then made his All Blacks Test debut against Japan in November, with his representative career also including the Maori All Blacks, New Zealand Under-20s and New Zealand Schools.

Boyd said: “Matt is exactly the calibre of player that we want to be bringing to Northampton – he’s a world-class talent.

“I obviously know first-hand what he can do having worked with him back in New Zealand, and I am confident he can slot into our back-line next year alongside the quality players we already have at Saints.

“At 26, Matt is entering the peak years of his career and he had the desire for a new challenge on this side of the world. We feel that he can really fill his vast potential here in Northampton.”

Premiership

Saracens Set to Land South African Starlet

Saracens have had their struggles of late but it appears as though despite everything they remain active in the transfer market and are preparing to sign one of South Africa’s brightest stars

Published

on

(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Saracens are in advanced talks with young South African forward Cobus Wiese from the Stormers it has been revealed and his signing could benefit England too.

With the South African side struggling with cash at the moment, losing a host of their star players in recent times, the English Premiership giants are preparing to swoop in for another, with it believed that the utility forward to sign a five-year contract. 

At 22, the forward has been a regular for both the Stormers and Western Province over the past two years and if he does put pen to paper on the deal it would see him become available for England during his career. 

The London-based side have had a rough few days being handed a £5.3 million fine and being deducted 35 points in the Premiership for a breach of salary cap rules, but while that is being appealed, the club seem likely to continue their transfer business as usual. 

While for Saracens it would be a massive coup to sign Wiese, for the Stormers it would be a huge loss as they have already lost World Cup winners Eben Etzebeth and Damian de Allende, as well as other players such as Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Corne Fourie and EW Viljoen among others due to the current crisis at the franchise. 

The Stormers have been struggling through their pre-season so far as a host of their players are on loan abroad and they await the returns of some of their World Cup stars. 

They should be boosted by the returns of captain Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Herschel Jantjies, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe and recent World Player of the Year winner Pieter-Steph du Toit, who are all set to come back to the franchise come mid-December. 

However, the loss of another player and a rising star could not only be a blow for the club but for the Springboks in the future.

Continue Reading

Champions Cup

Saracens Handed Another Huge Set-Back

Saracens have had a tough few days and things have got worse yet again as one of their star youngsters has been ruled out for the remainder of the season

Published

on

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Saracens’ terrible week has just gone from bad to worse with the confirmation that prop Ralph Adams-Hale has been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.

The 22-year-old picked up an ankle injury on Saturday during Sarries first win over Gloucester at Kingsholm in four years and was stretchered off the pitch. 

It was confirmed that he underwent surgery on Sunday and will go under the knife once more in the coming days to fix the injury, which will now leave him sidelined for the remainder of the season. 

Adams-Hale had started the season brightly with two starts and two sub appearances in the team’s first four games to follow on from his Premiership final appearance last season, but this is a cruel blow for him individually as he joins star full-back Liam Williams on the injury list.

Meanwhile, it is yet another set-back for the club as a whole, who were hit with a £5.3 million fine as well as a 35-point deduction following breach of salary cap regulations. They are fighting the decision, but if they fail in their appeal they will sink to the bottom of the Premiership table. 

Currently on 13 points they would drop to -22, a whopping 26-points off current basement side Leicester who have only picked up four points from their first four games. 

Head coach Mark McCall has confirmed that if it comes to it Saracens will sacrifice their Champions Cup crown to focus on avoiding relegation from the English top tier. 

“We have got a plan for the worst-case scenario which will affect our strategy around the Champions Cup. Our job at the moment if the points deduction remains and the appeal is not successful is to try to stay up and that is what we will try and do,” he said last week. 

Meanwhile, as well as those blows the reigning English and European champions could face punishment from the European body following their absence from last week’s Champions Cup launch day, with another fine most likely on the way. 

Saracens will hope things will get better soon with the return of some key international stars, and will look to kick-start their European campaign on a high when they take on French giants Racing 92 this weekend.

Continue Reading

Premiership

Former All Black Set for Exiles Debut

London Irish have named their team for Sunday’s match against Leicester with three star signings poised for their Premiership debuts for the side

Published

on

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

London Irish have announced their team to take on Leicester at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday with three of their key summer signings set for debuts.

Former All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo has been announced on the right-wing following his sensational move to the Exiles during the summer and will be making his first appearance for them. 

Along with Naholo hooker Saia Fainga’a is in the line-up for the first time as he prepares to make his debut for the English outfit. 

Meanwhile, Australian international Nick Phipps could also make his debut for Irish if he comes off the bench at some point in the game. 

Following their promotion to the top tier of English rugby the Exiles splashed the cash on a number of high-profile players with the likes of Curtis Rona, Ruan Botha and Paddy Jackson already playing a part in the opening stages of the season. 

While they still have players such as Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu and Sean O’Brien to come into the side as they try to cement a place in the Premiership for next season. 

Irish are currently sitting in 10th position only one place above the Tigers, who claimed their first win of the season last time out and the Exiles director of rugby Declan Kidney is expecting a tough game this weekend. 

“Leicester Tigers are coming off the back of a good home win against Gloucester last weekend, so we know the challenges that they present to us. We are improving as each match comes, so we will be looking to do the same this weekend,” he said.

With one win from their opening three games the Exiles will be hoping that their new signings will make an instant impact as they try to move away from the relegation spot.

Continue Reading

Trending