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Saints march into Europe after thriller at the Gardens

Ahsee Tuala scored the winning try for Saints Credit: PA Images

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder praised his team's powers of recovery to secure the final spot for next season's European Champions Cup.

Second half tries from Ben Foden and Ashee Tuala - the latter with the Saints down to thirteen men - helped them overturn a sixteen point deficit against Stade Francais to win 23-22.

The European Challenge Cup winners from Paris looked destined to snatch last night's play-off at Franklin's Gardens when Saints' skipper Tom Wood was dismissed.

Moments after Rory Hutchinson had been sinbinned, referee John Lacey ruled that Wood made contact with the head of Stade full back Djibril Camara in a ruck midway through the second half.

The decision incensed the home fans and their reaction seemed to inspire the Saints. Tuala's touchdown in the corner was followed by Harry Mallinder's conversion from the left hand touchline.

And despite their player advantage Stade Francais couldn't add to the points they scored before half time, including three tries.

Here's Jim Mallinder talking to ITV Angli's Donovan Blake after the game:

And Ben Foden:

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Northampton Saints to hold one minute's silence for terror attack victims

Northampton Saints rugby club will hold a minute's silence ahead of kick off at Franklin's Gardens on Friday.

Fans and players will remember those killed in the terror attack in Manchester on Monday, when a bomb blast killed 22 people at the end of a music concert.

The club has urged fans to get to their seats early ahead of the match against Stade Francais in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

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Northampton Saints land South African international

Cobus Reinach will join the Saints in the summer. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints have signed South African scrum-half Cobus Reinach ahead of next season.

The 27-year-old will move to Franklin's Gardens from Durban-based club, The Sharks, in the summer.

Reinach, who has 10 caps for the Springboks to date, scored a try against England at Twickenham in 2014.

Reinach is the second Southern Hemisphere international to commit his future to the Saints, with Australian Rob Horne also due to join the club in the off-season.

I’m delighted and excited to be joining Northampton.

It is a club with a long tradition and strong values and I’m really looking forward to playing at Franklin’s Gardens and being in their environment.

Saints have some outstanding players in their squad and I knew after speaking with the coaches that it was a club that I wanted to play for.

– Cobus Reinach, Northampton Saints

Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder admitted he was delighted to have secured Reinach's signature and added that the Saints have been monitoring his progress closely for quite a while.

“Cobus is an excellent player and we’re looking forward to having him at Franklin’s Gardens next season,” he said.

“We have been watching him for some time and he has proven time and again what a quality player he is. His set piece skills are excellent and he is a very opportunistic scrum half."

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