Gray returns to Saints as injury cover

Joe Gray is back at Saints (picture: Andy Taylor)
Joe Gray is back at Saints (picture: Andy Taylor)

Saints have announced the signing of hooker Joe Gray as injury cover until October.

The 30-year-old is a free agent after leaving Harlequins following eight years with the south-west London side.

He made more than 150 appearances for Quins and lifted the Premiership title in 2012, playing all 80 minutes in the final.

Nottingham-born Gray is a Saints Academy graduate, first running out in the black, green and gold back in 2007 and making 20 appearances over three seasons.

He returns with the club short on options for the No.2 shirt with Mike Haywood and Reece Marshall still nursing injuries picked up last season.

Dylan Hartley continues to progress well and is expected to play a part in the early stages of the season, but he and James Fish would be the only options with Haywood and Marshall struggling.

“We’re delighted to have secured a player of Joe’s experience and quality for the next three months,” said Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd.

“A number of our hookers are carrying niggles heading into the back end of pre-season, and we want to make sure they are back to full fitness before they return with a long season ahead.

"We have three important pre-season matches in the coming weeks, so it's important to make sure we are covered.

“Joe has a proven track record in the Premiership, and I’m sure our younger hookers like Reece and Samson (Ma'asi) will also relish the opportunity to learn from someone new.”