Tom Collins will trade Northampton for London Irish this summer on a mission to prove his enduring top-level class.
The back-three star has made 144 Northampton appearances in 10 years at the Franklin’s Gardens club.
The 28-year-old admitted being quickly enticed by Irish coaches Declan Kidney and Les Kiss, with the Exiles having fallen just shy of a Premiership play-off berth this season.
“I feel like I am ready for a fresh start somewhere new, I want to prove that I can play consistently at the very top level,” said Collins.
“I’ll always be grateful to Northampton, it’s the club I have grown up supporting, but I felt my time was coming to an end and a new opportunity was on the horizon.
“Irish reached out and I was really encouraged by the project the club is working under with Declan and Les, and I feel like it will be a great fit for me.”
✍️ | London Irish is delighted to confirm the signing of Tom Collins! 🙌
Tom will join the squad ahead of the 2023/24 campaign 🤝
— London Irish (@londonirish) April 28, 2023
Irish rugby director Kidney was delighted to complete Collins’ capture.
“Tom has shown in his time with Northampton what a capable player he is and having him as our player now is a great privilege,” he said.
“We are really excited to be welcoming in a player of Tom’s calibre and we are all confident he will become a valuable member of our squad at Irish.”