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George North to leave Saints at the end of the season

George North is leaving Northampton to return to Wales Credit: PA

George North will leave Northampton at the end of this season and return to Wales on a national dual contract.

The winger, who has won 69 Wales caps and scored 30 tries, has agreed a deal from next term, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on its official Twitter feed.

Northampton released their own statement confirming 25-year-old North's departure. It is not known at this stage which of the four Welsh regions he will join.

North says he's delighted to be heading back to Wales

As a proud Welshman, I am excited to be heading back to Wales. I feel that the time is right and with the benefits that come with it it was a great option for me

– George North

David Ribbans: Northampton Saints star agrees new deal

David Ribbans has agreed a new contract. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton Saints second row David Ribbans has become the latest player to commit his future to the club.

The 22-year-old has impressed for the Saints since joining from South African club Western Province last year and was named man of the match in the victory over Bath last month.

Ribbans joins Harry Mallinder in signing a new contract at Franklin's Gardens and his fresh deal will run until 2020.

"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Saints and am really happy to be staying for another two years,” he said.

“I have settled into the town and the club well and could not have been made to feel more welcome by the supporters, staff and players.

“I’ve also enjoyed my time out on the field. This club has some amazing players and the potential to do some great things. Both individually and as a group there is plenty more to come and I’m looking forward to playing my role in that."


Northampton Saints trio named in England squad

Dylan Hartley (left), Courtney Lawes (centre) and Piers Francis (right) have all been selected. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints trio Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Piers Francis have been called up the England squad for the upcoming autumn internationals.

Hartley's place was in doubt at one stage after he was cited for striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani the Saints' 24-7 Champions Cup defeat on Saturday, but an independent panel cleared him on Wednesday.

Fly-half Francis has been picked as one of the backs, while Lawes will be a strong contender to start in the second row, but fellow Saints forwards Tom Wood and Teimana Harrison are among those who have been overlooked.

England face Argentina at Twickenham on November 11, before taking on Australia (18 November) and Samoa (25 November).

  • England squad for the Autumn internationals

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Forwards: Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs).

Rugby: Hartley cleared to lead England

Dylan Hartley

Northampton Saints skipper Dylan Hartley has been cleared to lead England into their autumn series after his citing for striking was dismissed by an independent disciplinary hearing.

Hartley was sent to the sin-bin for striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani during Northampton's 24-7 Champions Cup defeat on Saturday and, having pleaded not guilty to the offence, it was decided by the panel that he should receive no further sanction.

"It was found Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Slimani in the face. However, the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card," read a statement issued by tournament organisers.

It was found Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Slimani in the face. However, the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card.

– Tournament organisers

Harry Mallinder: Back signs new Northampton Saints deal

Harry Mallinder has committed his future to Northampton Saints. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints have announced that Harry Mallinder has signed a new contract with the club.

The 21-year-old, who is the son of Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder, is a product of the Saints academy and has made 50 first team appearances.

His has also represented England at various youth levels and received his first senior call-up for the tour of Argentina in the summer.

“The Saints is my only club and I never considered going anywhere else,” he said.

“I’ve grown up at Franklin’s Gardens and experienced some great memories already, both as a player and a young supporter of the club.

“Looking at the environment and the squad we have building here, I’m extremely positive about what is to come over the next few years.

“I’m delighted to be staying.”

Dylan Hartley: Northampton captain facing fresh hearing

Dylan Hartley could be hit with another suspension. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley will face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday after he was cited for allegedly striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani.

Hartley was yellow-carded during the Saints' Champions Cup clash against the French side on Saturday for catching Slimani in the face with a swinging arm.

If he's found guilty, he could face another suspension which would put his place in England's squad for the upcoming Autumn internationals at risk.

Hartley is no stranger to controversy having already served 60 weeks of suspensions in his career so far.

England Head Coach Eddie Jones is due to name his squad on Thursday.


Mallinder says signing Biggar is a 'statement of intent' by Northampton Saints

Saints Jim Mallinder says the signing of Dan Biggar is a statement of intent by the club

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder says the signing of Wales and Lions fly-half Dan Biggar is a 'statement of intent' by the club.

Biggar will join from Ospreys in time for the start of next season.

Click below to see Donovan Blake's interview with Jim Mallinder on Dan Biggar's signing

Wales and Lions star Biggar signs for Saints

Welsh star Dan Biggar is joining Northampton Saints next summer

Northampton Saints has confirmed that Dan Biggar has signed a contract to join the club next summer.

The fly half has been one of the Northern Hemisphere’s stand-out performers in recent years, having made 56 appearances for Wales, 203 for the Ospreys and toured with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand earlier this summer, during which he played in five of the 10 matches.

The 27-year-old has been Wales’s starting fly half for the majority of the past four years, winning the 2013 Six Nations title and being the man of the match in Wales’s memorable Rugby World Cup win over England in 2015, a game in which he kicked 23 points.

At club level Biggar was the youngest player to pass the 200-appearance mark for the Ospreys, a feat he achieved last season. To date he has scored over 2,000 points for the region, earning a reputation as one of the league’s most accurate marksmen in the process.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Biggar’s signing is a big statement of intent about the Saints’ ambitions over coming seasons.

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