Courtney Lawes poised to stick with Saints

Nick Purewal, PA
PA Media: Sport

England star Courtney Lawes is expected to snub interest from France’s latest cash-rich club and commit his long-term future to Northampton Saints.

Back-five forward Lawes has agreed a new deal that will keep him at Franklin’s Gardens until after the 2023 World Cup, the PA news agency understands.

French ProD2 outfit Beziers are on the brink of a takeover from billionaire Arab investors, and a whole host of names are already being targeted for transfers.

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Gallagher Premiership clubs have been battling to agree new contracts with top players in light of both the league-wide agreed salary cap reductions and the impact of coronavirus.

Courtney Lawes is poised to pledge his future to Northampton (PA)
Courtney Lawes is poised to pledge his future to Northampton (PA)

Big-hitting Lawes would have effectively ended his 85-cap England career by heading overseas, with the national side still only selecting home-based players.

But the 31-year-old has opted to remain at his sole professional club, in a sizeable boost to the Saints.

Northampton meanwhile have confirmed that flanker Jamie Gibson will leave the east Midlands club when his contract expires on June 30.

The 29-year-old admitted the coronavirus fallout had impacted his decision.

Jamie Gibson is leaving Franklin’s Gardens (PA)
Jamie Gibson is leaving Franklin’s Gardens (PA)

“Prior to the pandemic the club and I had spoken about the future, but circumstances have understandably led to certain opportunities no longer being available, which is sad,” said Gibson.

“However I’m currently exploring a number of new opportunities, both inside and outside of rugby, and my family are very excited about what the future holds for us.

“If I do not get the chance to run out at Franklin’s Gardens again, then I’d like to thank my team-mates, coaches and the supporters here at Saints for everything they have done for me the last few years.

“Playing at the Gardens was always a brilliant experience and I look forward to hopefully returning in the future.”

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