Mallinder: Picamoles is staying at Saints

Louis Picamoles is not leaving Saints, according to director of rugby Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Louis Picamoles is not leaving Saints, according to director of rugby Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Jim Mallinder insists Louis Picamoles is not leaving Saints this summer.

Picamoles has been linked with a return to France with one of his former clubs, Montpellier.

But Saints chairman Tony Hewitt recently stressed to this publication that the 31-year-old still has two years remaining on his current contract.

And Mallinder has backed that up, stressing he fully expects Picamoles to be part of his plans for next season.

"Louis Picamoles is like all players who are not leaving," Mallinder said.

"He signed a contract, a three-year contract, he's just done the first year of it and he's got no get-out clause.

"There's no reason why Louis should be anywhere else."

It has been suggested that Montpellier owner Mohad Altrad is trying to mastermind a deal to bring Picamoles home on a central contract with the FFR (French Rugby Federation).

But Mallinder added: "I don't think we've ever been a selling club.

"We've always wanted to go into the market and bring good players here to Northampton. I'm sure that's the way we'll be.

"We want to keep all of our good players at Northampton Saints."

Picamoles once again impressed in the 22-20 Aviva Premiership final-day victory against Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

And Mallinder said: "He was immense and you need all of your good players playing.

"Competition is tough now and we need all of the best players we can possible get."