Piers Francis: Northampton Saints sign Auckland Blues fly-half
Northampton Saints have signed fly-half Piers Francis from New Zealand Super League side Auckland Blues.
English-born Francis moved to New Zealand in 2009 after three years in Saracens’ development academy.
The 26-year-old, who has also played for Edinburgh, will join up with Saints ahead of the 2017-18 season.
He told the club website: “Northampton is a massive club that’s known the world over and I’m joining a team with a huge amount of talent.”
Francis, who has appeared 15 times for The Blues, said: “It’s been a brilliant time for me in Auckland, but I’m now excited by the prospect of joining the Saints and getting to grips with the Premiership.
“I can’t wait to get started at Franklin’s Gardens, but before that there’s a lot of rugby still to be played in Super Rugby, and hopefully a game against the British and Irish Lions too.”
Northampton Saints are currently sixth in the Aviva Premiership, four points behind fourth-placed Bath.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said Francis was “a very good playmaker who is comfortable with ball in hand, but who can also control a match with his kicking game”.
“He has all the talent and temperament that it takes to be a success in the Premiership and we’re looking forward to him joining us later in the year,” Mallinder said.