Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints have confirmed that South African centre Pat Howard will link up with the team in the summer.
The 23 year old back row player will join the reigning Aviva Premiership champions from South African giants the Stormers. He had a hugely successful spell with the feeder club of the South African Super 15 side the Western Province, where he won Currie Cup, as well as Munster where he was part of the side both for the European Rugby Champions Cup as well as the Guinness Pro 12.
Aviva Premiership leaders the Northampton Saints have suffered their first loss of the new season of the Premiership when they were handed a humbling by the London Irish on Saturday.
The Exiles ran out 39-17 winners against The Saints, ending their record of a perfect start to the new season as they chase their first title in the new format. Northampton, who were high on confidence and were playing with some style came to Reading with a much depleted side with as many as 11 first team players missing from the lineup.
Northampton rugby union have agreed to release Bruce Reihana for France. Mark Easter is set to join Sale Sharks, with Joe Ansbro heading to London Irish and Dan Sanderson moving to Moseley.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder has also opted to release Regardt Dreyer and Matt Cornwell.
"They have all contributed to the team's development over the past few seasons," said Mallinder.
"A squad is not just about the 23 players who represent the club on match day.
Northampton went into the top of the Premiership table with a healthy point difference after beating Bath.
Two Shane Geraghty penalties and a Phil Dowson try gave Saints an 11-0 lead. Olly Barkley landed a penalty for Bath on the stroke of half-time but a quick-fire Chris Ashton double and a Geraghty penalty saw Saints pull away.
Joe Ansbro scored out wide to earn the hosts a four-try bonus point before Ben Williams's late consolation for Bath.
Grant Seely has left Northampton Saints coaching role by mutual consent. The 36-year-old former forward featured for Northampton for 15 years before moving onto the coaching staff.
He told the club website: "I've spent 19 years at the Saints and have experienced the full range of emotions during my time at the club.
"The Northampton Saints will always have a special place in my heart."
He added: "I've learned a great deal from my time as a player and especially in the last four years as a coach.