French star Picamoles confirms switch to Saints on three-year deal

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
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Louis Picamoles has confirmed he will be joining Saints on a three-year deal when his current contract at Toulouse runs out in June.

The imposing No.8 has been linked with a move to Franklin’s Gardens since September, when reports emerged in France that he was a transfer target for several clubs.

It was then rumoured to be between Bath and Saints for the 29-year-old’s signature, but the west country club ruled themselves out of the running.

Saints attack coach Alex King said it was ‘gossip and speculation’ linking his club with Picamoles, but the deal is now done.

Picamoles told RMC Sport: “I made my decision. I have told my club.

“Next year, I’m off to Northampton, and for the next three seasons.

“It is primarily a lifestyle choice. I have this opportunity open to me and since I will soon be 30 years old, I think it is the right time for me to try this experiment.”

Picamoles played for France in the World Cup, helping his country reach the quarter-finals.

He has made 51 Test appearances for his country, scoring seven tries, and will help fill the void left by Samu Manoa, who left Saints for Toulon during the summer.