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Northampton Saints add South African centre Howard to their squad for next season

Patrick Howard will be joining Northampton Saints in the summer. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints have announced the signing of South African centre Patrick Howard for next season.

The 23-year-old will join from Western Province in the summer.

Howard spent time at Munster earlier this campaign, and has represented South Africa at youth level.

“I really enjoyed my time in Europe earlier this year and was delighted when Saints showed interest in me.

It is a great opportunity for me to be joining a fantastic club and continue to develop as a player.

I cannot wait to pull on the Saints jersey!

I have had a great time coming through the ranks at Western Province, but feel that now is the right time to experience something new overseas.”

– Patrick Howard, Northampton Saints

Young Northampton Saints star Hooley to join Exeter Chiefs

Will Hooley (centre) in action for Northampton Saints. Credit: PA

Exeter Chiefs have announced that they will sign young Northampton Saints fly-half Will Hooley at the end of the season.

The 21-year-old will pen a two-year deal in the summer, and will compete for the number 10 shirt with Gareth Steenson and Henry Slade.

Hooley has been with Northampton since the age of 12 and has made 14 appearances for the first team.

“I’m really looking forward to the move, I see it as a massive opportunity for me to experience a new club, a new environment and to hopefully be part of something special down at the Chiefs."

– Will Hooley, Northampton Saints


Northampton Saints star George North to see brain specialist over concussion scares

George North in action against Wasps. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints winger George North will see a brain specialist before the weekend to see when he can return to rugby.

The Wales star was knocked unconscious during last week's Premiership match with Wasps.

It's the third time that North has been knocked out in the space of two months.

Nathan Hughes, the man who struck him, has been banned for three weeks.

Strong Saints presence for England's crucial 6 Nations clash

The Twickenham dressing room. Credit: Rob Halden-Pratt.

Three Northampton Saints players have been named in England's starting line-up for Saturday's crucial 6 Nations clash with France this weekend.

Luther Burrell, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes will play alongside Norfolk-born Leicester player Ben Youngs at Twickenham.

His brother Tom Youngs and Saints' Tom Wood have been named as replacements.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has made just one change to the starting line-up following last week's victory over Scotland, with Geoff Parling replacing Dave Attwood.

Northampton Saints forward Lawes earns England recall

Courtney Lawes will face Scotland on Saturday. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints forward Courtney Lawes has been recalled to England's starting line-up to face Scotland on Saturday.

The second row has missed the first three games of the Six Nations with an ankle injury, but will replace Saracens' George Kruis at lock.

Tom Wood has been named among the replacements. Credit: PA

Lawes' Saints team-mate Tom Wood has also been brought back into the squad - he's among the substitutes.

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England starting XV to face Scotland:

M Brown (Harlequins), A Watson (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), L Burrell (Northampton), J Nowell (Exeter), G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester),

J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), D Attwood (Bath), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), M Vunipola (Saracens), K Brookes (Newcastle), G Parling (Leicester), T Wood (Northampton), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), D Cipriani (Sale), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester)

Bristol star snapped up by Saints

New Northampton signing Tom Kessell Credit:

Northampton Saints have announced the signing of former Cornish Pirates scrum-half Tom Kessell.

The 25-year-old will join Saints in time for next season after completing a short-term stint with the Pirates' Championship rivals Bristol.

Kessell was part of the Championship XV that beat Canada earlier this season, while he has also represented England Counties.

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder said:

"Tom has shown great promise in the Championship, and has had his performances recognised with selection for the team that played Canada last year.

We believe that he has the potential to perform in the Aviva Premiership and in Europe, and we are looking forward to seeing him develop at Franklin's Gardens."

– Jim Mallinder, Northampton Saints


Northampton Saints star North to miss Wales' clash with Scotland after head injury

Northampton Saints wing George North will miss Wales's Six Nations clash against Scotland. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints wing George North will miss Wales's Six Nations clash against Scotland at the weekend after taking two blows to his head in the defeat to England.

The sport's governing body, World Rugby, yesterday ruled that North should not have remained on the field of play at the Millennium Stadium.

World Rugby: "George North shouldn't have stayed on the field of play"

George North. Credit: PA Wire

Northampton Saints winger George North should not have remained on the field of play after getting a head injury in the Six Nations match between Wales and England according to World Rugby.

The decision has been released in a statement and it follows a head injury in the 61st minute of Friday night's game.

North came off the field after receiving an accidental boot to the head from England lock Dave Attwood but was able to continue after treatment.

World Rugby, meanwhile, has also announced that it will be "immediately investigating, evaluating and promoting the implementation" of new measures.

These are the practicality of television match official technology being expanded to identify head injuries as they happen on the field.

"The World Rugby head injury protocol clearly states that a player should be immediately and permanently removed from the field of play where there are any visible symptoms or suspicion of a potential concussion. However, following thorough discussions and input from the expert independent Concussion Advisory Group, World Rugby accepts the WRU's explanation that neither the team medical staff nor the independent doctor had sight of the incident, and understands that the medics acted within the framework of information they had at the time and would have taken a different course of action had they had direct pitchside visibility or access to the same broadcast footage seen by those watching on television."

– World Rugby Statement

Northampton Saints forward Day called up to England squad as cover for Leicester's Parling

Christian Day has been called up the England training squad. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints second row Christian Day has been called up the England training squad for the Six Nations as cover for injured Leicester Tigers forward Geoff Parling.

The 31-year-old hasn't previously been capped by the senior team, but has turned out for the England Saxons.

Leicester Tigers flanker Tom Croft has also been called up to the squad as cover for Day's Saints teammate Tom Wood who injured his ankle in the weekend defeat to Racing Metro.

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