Saints set sights on more top signings after fresh investment

Tony Hewitt
Tony Hewitt
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Chairman Tony Hewitt says Saints will continue to be ‘aggressive’ in the transfer market as they bid to further add to their squad for next season.

The club has already announced three new signings, with Australia star Rob Horne and Bristol duo Mitch Eadie and Jamal Ford-Robinson joining this summer.

But Saints are keen to bring in more key men, especially in the half-back positions.

And with existing shareholders ploughing an extra £1 million into the coffers, Saints are confident they can get the men they want to help bring glory back to Franklin’s Gardens.

“We’ve been talking to a number of key players and we continue to talk to a number of key players,” Hewitt said.

“We’re very keen to strengthen that three-quarter line for next season.

“The board always leaves the decision on who to recruit to Jim Mallinder as the director of rugby. He liases with his own coaching team, but Jim is the one who makes the decisions on recruitment.

“We want to continue to attract top quality players to Franklin’s Gardens to make it enjoyable to watch games here.

“The star signing this season has been Louis Picamoles, who has played fantastic games at Franklin’s Gardens, as he did for France against England at Twickenham, winning man of the match.”

The current salary cap sits at £6.5 million, with the salaries of two marquee players allowed on top of that.

However, the cap will rise to £7 million for the beginning of next season and with Saints keen to spend as much as possible to make their squad as strong as possible, extra investment was required.

“This has been a challenging year,” Hewitt said.

“We’ve been hit by the increase in players’ salaries and the general increase in the salary framework that all of the Premiership clubs have to adhere to so we were very keen to ensure we had the funds available to compete in the transfer market next season.

“We wanted to make sure we had the funds to continue to be aggressive in the transfer market.

“We’ve already announced the signing of Rob Horne, the Australian vice captain, who is an outside centre joining us next season.

“We’re keen to make further announcements in the backs division to ensure we play more attacking and winning rugby at Franklin’s Gardens.”