Picamoles Signs Pre-Contract With Montpellier

Northampton Saints No 8 Louis Picamoles gave a shock to the team after signing a pre-contract agreement with Montpellier to rejoin it once the tour of France of South Africa will get over this summer.

Picamoles, joined Northampton leaving Toulouse signing the contract of three-years in 2016, and for five years he played in Montpellier until 2009. Now he is returning to his former club.

Altrad hhe tas confirmed this news and while confirming it, he said, “The team has signed a pre-contract with Louis Picamoles, so that should join the team as soon as the tour of France gets over. It is really important good for the national team to have a player of France playing in the Top 14.” Even the William Hill rugby betting didn’t see it coming, with Picamoles having been odds-on to stay at Northampton for another season.

In-order to take Picamoles on its team, Montpellier had paid a hefty fee, this is because Picamoles was voted the player of the year by the Northampton club and, according to Jim Mallinder director of Northampton in the contract of Picamoles, there was no release clause present and thus he could not be sold.

Mallinder on the joining of Picamoles when asked, he said “Picamoles has signed a contract for three-years with the team, and till now he has just finished the first year of his contract and there is no clause present in the contract of Louis that can let me go away. So, it is not possible that Louis can go anywhere else.” “Northampton is not a selling club, we all our good players to remain in the team.”

According to the reports, French Rugby Federation (FFR) is keen to sign Picamoles with their team on a unique central contract. However, after the end of France tour, it will get clear that from behalf of which team Picamoles will continue his game.

Wasps stuns Saints

Northampton Saints were beaten by Wasps at Franklin’s Gardens for the first time in almost ten years.

Dan Robson, the scrum-half, scored Wasps’ very first try when he managed to find an opening and touched down on the post before Rob Miller passed from close in.

Dan Robson vs Northampton Saints

The score by Josh Bassett helped to make it 24-3 to the visitors at the break. Sam Dickinson racked up the corner for Northampton in the 2nd half, but Wasps now go above them in Premiership league table.

Both teams came into the game on the back of making it to the European Champions Cup quarter-finals. But Saints made seven changes for this game and they struggled to deal with the Wasps team who dealt with the wet conditions better to reach to 5th.

After Robson’s score, the away team raised their lead to 17-0 on twenty-five minutes when Miller put up Harry Mallinder’s challenge to cross.

Miller has been on the fringes of the England team for a few years now, and tries such as this will only help his cause to try to get into the squad for the Six Nations (England kick off against Scotland, click here for full details).

Jim Mallinder, the Northampton Saints director stated that the first half was unacceptable. Their defence was poor, they had no line speed whatsoever, they could not get their set-piece functioning at all, and therefore they gave their backs nothing to work from. He believes that they all looked flat as a team. It is time that they really have to have a look at themselves.

Dai Young, the Wasps director, said that he is very happy with the result. “They were excellent in the field, the team really came out of the block and they really deserve to win.”

After the match, Northampton Saints Tom Wood tweeted: “U can’t win every week but last night was a disaster. We’re ashamed of our performance. Well done to wasps. We really hav sum work to do now”

Mallinder says Northampton Saints not out of it

Jim Mallinder, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints insists the club is not down and out despite suffering back to back defeats for the first time this season.

The Jimmies suffered a 19-6 thrashing at the hands of the high flying Sale Sharks last weekend and went down to the Exeter Chiefs the previous weekend in the final of the LV=Cup at Sandy Park. And speaking to BBC Radio Northampton, Mallinder stated that they have some great players but they were off the pace against the Sharks which cost them the match.

He also stated that the team didn’t have much time together to work on tactics after the defeat to the Chiefs the previous weekend. Mallinder saw his side succumb to their first defeat in the Aviva Premiership in twelve games and although he has six players back from international duty after the Six Nations Championship, Mallinder stated that he didn’t have all his squad players for the last eight weeks and as a result, they didn’t gel.

The Northampton Saints boss stated that Luther Burrell had been playing on the outside for quite some time and the same can be said about many other players and these players, having to play out of position, were caught a bit out of their depths.

But he hailed the overall performance of the team considering that most of the players had not been together for quite some time.

Mallinder went on to add that the Northampton Saints are still in a strong position to qualify for the playoff semifinals and they will hopefully come good and end up with a home semifinal in the playoffs. It all comes down to the next few matches which will decide whether he is right or not.

Saints boss will not help Wales

Jim Mallinder, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints has stated that he will neither allow nor help Wales develop star player George North into a centre despite the winger playing a starring role in the club’s recent 15-17 win against the London Wasps as well as his run in the position for the Wales national team.

Mallinder has constantly stated that the best position for North is on the flanks and he will revert to his role as a winger for the foreseeable future after the club’s main man in the centre George Pisi returns to the side having served a six game ban.

Although Mallinder has expressed his delight at the willingness of the winger to cover in midfield, he has stressed it is a relief for them to have George Pisi back before adding that the team sees North as a winger. There has been a lot of talk in the Welsh camp about developing North into a centre but Mallinder has stated that unfortunately for Warren Gatland, the Welsh manager, the Northampton Saints won’t be making their team selections according to his wishes.

He added that he will be doing what is best for the club and the club sees North as a solution to their answers for a starring wing player.

And although North has himself not come out and commented about his best position on the field, it is believed that he doesn’t mind playing at centre as it gets him more involved in the game and helps him contribute more to the cause of the team as well.

But if the Northampton Saints boss Mallinder gets his way, then he will continue to use George North as a winger rather than playing him at centre.

Waller ready to return

Alex Waller, the prop for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints has stated that he is fir and raring to go after being given a rest for the first time in 81 games.

The 23 year old prop featured for all matches of the Jimmies since the Heineken Cup final of 2011 before missing out on the team’s LV=Cup win against the London Irish. Speaking to BBC Radio Northampton, Waller stated that it was a strange feeling for him adding that he almost felt lost when the rest of the boys went to training.

He then admitted that the human body can do with some rest every once in a while and with Alex Corbisiero taking a knock, he is hopeful of getting his place back in the side.

Corbisiero, the prop for the British and Irish Lions was injured while training for the England game against New Zealand and didn’t feature in the match as well. The Northampton Saints have confirmed that the player will require an operation on his cartilage and admitted that it could properly provide a timeline on when he will be able to return to full fitness.

And with the Saints preparing to take on the Newcastle Falcons this week, Waller believes he is ready and fresh to take them on. He went on to mention that he has been playing every week for the last couple of years and he feels as much a part of the team as anyone else but this feeling of having to earn his place back in the side feels different than he has experienced before.

The Northampton Saints take on the Falcons before meeting the Worcester Warriors followed by a double header against the mighty Leinster in the Heineken Cup in their next few games.

Hartley to retain captaincy

England international hooker Dylan Hooker will retain the captain’s armband for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints this season, it has been confirmed. The 27 year old Englishman was sent off during the club’s playoff final defeat at the hands of bitter rivals the Leicester Tigers last season and was handed a ban of 11 weeks afterwards for swearing at the referee and calling him a cheat.

This was just another issue to a number of disciplinary problems the player has had in the last six years and it was speculated he would be stripped of the captaincy but that hasn’t been the case. Jim Mallinder, the Director of Rugby at the club stated that the player has learned from what transpired at the Twickenham Stoop during the play off final and added that the player knows what exactly is expected of him this season.

Mallinder also mentioned that the Northampton Saints are aware that the events during the play off final will mean that a lot of eyes will be scrutinizing the player and it is duty to make him feel protected. He stated that the club believes that the player has the capability to do well under pressure and they all believe he will still improve as a player as well as a leader.

Mallinder also stated that the player has matured a lot over the last few years and is a brilliant example of a captain leading his players from the front. Hartley’s sending off in the first half cost the Northampton Saints the match in the playoff final and his subsequent 11 week ban meant that he was not picked for the British and Irish Lions’ tour of Australia this summer and he will have a lot to do to make things right.

Northampton Saints urge fans to take public transport

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints have urged its fans not to take their cars to London at Twickenham Stoop for the Aviva Premiership final against local rivals the Leicester Tigers this Saturday. The officials of the club have advised the fans traveling for the final to use public transport for travels instead. It is expected that almost around 50 coaches will depart for Twickenham Stoop at 10am in the morning on the day of the final from the club’s Franklin’s Gardens stadium.

And thousand more fans are expected to take other means of public transport to make the journey to the home of English rugby for this huge East Midlands derby. Some or also expected to take their private cars for the final. However, the club officials have urged the fans not to undertake the long drive to London unless they have already booked a parking space. A spokesperson for the Northampton Saints has announced that the club has arranged for coaches that will leave the Franklin’s Gardens stadium at regular intervals from 10am with the last coach leaving at 11.30am.

The spokesperson also announced that the club has sold enough tickets to make arrangements for 50 coaches and the supporters have been advised to come to the ground to take the coaches instead of taking their private vehicles. Moreover, the club has mentioned that will extremely limited car parking spaces available at Twickenham for private cars and that too at £ 30 for each space, it is advisable they take the public transport route.

The Northampton Saints have seen huge fanfare after the club reached the final of the Aviva Premiership and with the match pitting them against local rivals Leicester, fans are expected to turn out in numbers to voice their support for the club.

Northampton Saints set to sign George North

20 year old Wales international winger George North is set to sign for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints after agreeing a two year deal with the English giants.

The youngster has been at the centre of a major row between the Walesa Rugby Union and the four regions in recent weeks. And although his present club the Scarlets insists they offered the youngster the best possible deal to keep him at the club, the WRU has accused the region of trying to sell the player who still has a year left on his contract.

Moreover, the WRU has also claimed that the club has been trying to sell the player off without him having any knowledge of it. And although both the Scarlets and the Northampton Saints have contradicted the WRU on those claims, it is being believed that a deal between the two clubs has already been brokered. And in all likelihood, The Jimmies will have to pay £ 250,000 to the Welsh club to secure the services of the club.

A spokesperson from the English club stated that this is mere speculation and the club does not wish to comment on speculation. The Scarlets have claimed previously that it is the wish of the club to keep hold of the youngster and have made a substantial offer on those grounds to the player, an offer which still stands and is up to the player whether he will accept it or not.

But if George North does make the move to the Northampton Saints as being speculated, Warren Gatland, the coach of the national team and the union will be more than happy that the best of their lot are going to England to ply their trade, which gives them better scope to improve.

Phil Dowson happy with Northampton Saints squad

Phil Dowson, the forward for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints has insisted that the side is full of quality and have enough confidence in their own abilities to snap out of their recent slump and get back to winning ways.

The Jimmies have lost their last four successive matches but Dowson insists it is only a matter of time before the club bounced back. Speaking to BBC Look East, Dowson stated that people are speculating that the squad is not together and that there are cracks in the armor.

He went on to state that many people have been making comments on the squad without even talking to any one of the players or members of the coaching staff and sometimes, these things are extremely baffling. He went on to add that these comments bear little relevance to what is happening on the pitch and also little resemblance to what he has witnessed. The Northampton Saints suffered six losses on the bounce back in the 2010-11 season but still managed to qualify for the playoff semi finals of the Aviva Premiership.

According to Dowson, the players in the team will have built on that experience from a couple of years back and can take heart that they can turn the slump around. He mentioned that at the start of the season, the team was flying high. He added that he has no qualms about the commitment that the payers are showing and their enthusiasm and effort are also beyond any questions.

He stated that there is strength in depth in the Northampton Saints squad, there are players of quality and the one thing that is not working is that balance, which is just not there and getting it right will be a key to revival.

Northampton Saints crash out of Heineken Cup

A last gasp try from Peter Horne sealed the match for Glasgow Warriors as they overcame a stubborn Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints who saw their journey to glory in the biggest club competition in Europe in the form of the Heineken Cup go up in smoke after their 27-20 defeat in Scotland meant that they would not qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

The Saints were a main down towards the end of the match after Alex Waller was sin binned and it gave Horne the opportunity to dance through the depleted defense as he clinched the win for his side.

The loss for The Jimmies mean that they will not even make it to the quarter final stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup, where the top three best losing teams go directly and their challenge in Europe for this season is effectively over. But the match could have turned out to be very different for the Northampton Saints had they managed to make use of their domination after running the show for most parts of the game early on.

Jim Mallinder pushed his men forward in search of a win with a bonus point when Horne struck, ending the little hope that The Jimmies had of qualifying, as the English club head home to concentrate on their efforts as they try to keep up the pace with the leaders in the Aviva Premiership, where they currently lie in fifth position after an unpredictable start to the season.

The win against the Northampton Saints means the Glasgow Warriors will go through to the next round of the competition and their status as one of the most consistent clubs in Europe remains untarnished while it’s back to the drawing board for Mallinder and his Saints.