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Sam Matavesi to leave Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints hooker Sam Matavesi will depart the club for a new opportunity overseas, the club have confirmed.

The Fijian international, who is a current serving member of the British Navy, joined the Saints ahead of the 2019/2020 season from Cornish Pirates, and went onto register 89 appearances in the Black, Green and Gold.

His departure comes following heavy links with a switch to Top 14 side Lyon.

In a statement, Director of Rugby Phil Dowson said: “We’re disappointed that Sam has decided to move overseas, but we have a fantastic stable of hookers at Saints in Curtis Langdon, Robbie Smith and Craig Wright. We have every confidence in the quality we have in that space.”

“Curtis and Robbie are both pushing for international selection with England and Scotland, while Craig is currently England’s standout hooker at Under-20s level.

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“Sam has brought a lot, both on and off the pitch, to our group over the last few seasons, so we thank him for his contribution and wish him and his family the best for their next step.”

The Fijian international made his final appearance in their 25-21 victory over Bath in the Premiership Final, where he became the first ever current serviceman to win a Premiership title.

Sam Matavesi latest Saint to leave

His exit is the latest in a series of departures from Franklin’s Gardens, with 16 of the first team squad previously confirmed to be leaving.

Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam and Alex Moon will all be plying their trade in France next season. Waller’s Alex and Ethan have hung up their boots, as has hooker Tom Cruse.

Elsewhere in the squad, Sam’s brother Joel is also leaving the club, alongside Italian international Callum Braley, Kayde Sylvester, Geordie Irvine, George Patten, Aston Gradwick-Light, Matthew Arden, and Nick Tarr.