There was a sad inevitability about the decision that was confirmed on Thursday afternoon.
Saints stars Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes as well as new signing Kieran Brookes are celebrating after being named in the England squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Saints winger George North will play his first game of rugby for more than five months when he starts for Wales against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Unthinkable just two years ago, Alex Corbisiero now seems set to miss out on the World Cup but England great Jason Leonard is hoping his fellow loosehead can still make the final squad.
Saints young gun Sam Olver is gunning for more game-time this season after making his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut in May, and is hoping he has done enough to put his hand up again after Friday’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s midlands leg.
All the latest online Cobblers and Saints news and gossip as well as live match updates.
As a fly-half by trade, kicking on comes naturally to Sam Olver.
Saints duo Courtney Lawes and Luther Burrell will start for England in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match against France in Paris (kick-off 8pm).
Saints star Tom Wood admits to a sense of relief as England opened the prelude to their World Cup with a 19-14 victory over France at Twickenham.
Luther Burrell has hailed Calum Clark ahead of the Saints flanker’s first England Test today (Saturday).
Saints face another potentially decisive December double-header in this season’s European Rugby Champions Cup.
A photo taken back in 2003 was all it took to remind Luther Burrell of just how far he has come.
Tom Wood says captaining England on home turf will be the realisation of a dream.
Saints trio Ken Pisi, George Pisi and Kahn Fotuali’i have been named in Samoa’s 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Saints star Tom Wood will captain England in their World Cup warm-up match against France at Twickenham on Saturday.
Saints new boy Luke Eves admits he’s been handed a ‘huge’ opportunity at Franklin’s Gardens.
Saints star Lee Dickson is one of seven players released by England in the latest round of cuts from the World Cup squad.
Pat Howard is keen to follow in the footsteps of the South African players who have enjoyed success at Saints.
Saints star George North says Wales’ World Cup training camp in Qatar is the hardest thing he has ever experienced in pre-season.