NORTHAMPTON RELEASE PLAYERS

Northampton Saints have confirmed that 12 players will leave their first-team squad over the summer, and they will no longer offer fans a discounted rate on Wales Rugby Hospitality Tickets.

Juandre Kruger (Bulls), Neil Best (Worcester) and James Cannon (Wasps) have already agreed to join new clubs.

Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, Mark Hopley, Scott Gray, Barry Everitt, Chris Mayor, Joe Gray, Darren Morris, Jon Vickers and John Brake are also now departing.

Scrum-half Alan Dickens is retiring and taking up his new role as the academy manager at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints prop Santiago Bonorino retired earlier in the season due to injury.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: “All of the players who are leaving have played a big role in helping the Saints get where we are over the past two or three years.

“They have all made a contribution, in big and small ways, and we wish them the best for the future.”

NORTHAMPTON SIGN TONKS

Northampton have added Leicester full-back Greig Tonks to their squad for next season.

The 20-year-old, who came through the academy at Welford Road, has been on loan at Nottingham, but played in the LV= Cup for the Tigers.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to be involved in a growing club that has proved itself this season,” said Tonks.

“They’ve been playing exciting and intelligent rugby, which will be good to be a part of.”

He added: “They’ve got a squad full of quality players, but I’m looking at that as healthy competition and I’m going to give it the best shot I can.

“Hopefully I’ll have a good pre-season, get involved in a few games and take it from there.”