Saints bring in Wallaby Shepherd
May 22, 2012
Cameron Shepherd has signed for Northampton © Getty Images
Northampton Saints have announced the recruitment of Australian back Cameron Shepherd from the Western Force.
With Chris Ashton moving to Saracens ahead of next season, Jim Mallinder's side were a winger down. But they have opted to turn to Shepherd who is equally adept at fullback and on the wing.
Shepherd has nine caps for the Wallabies and is relishing the chance to turn out for the Saints. "It's an exciting opportunity for me," Shepherd said. "I've heard lots of good things about Jim Mallinder as a coach and about the Saints as a club. Jim has got the team playing a great brand of rugby which I believe suits my style of play and to which I think I've got a lot to offer.
"It is definitely going to be a new challenge for me. The Premiership is a tough competition and there are a lot of teams which like to play exciting rugby, especially the Saints. You can see that with the quality of player that there is at the club, players like Ben Foden and George Pisi, who are established internationals.
"I'm looking forward to playing with those guys and the rest of the squad, and for playing for a club which has a great reputation and an amazing history. Northampton is similar to the Force in that it has a great fanbase behind the team and I'm looking forward to showing the Saints supporters what I can do as a player."
Mallinder has had his eye on Shepherd for a while and he is looking forward to the versatility the 28-year-old will bring to his side. "Cameron is a very talented player who has shown regularly that he has the ability and temperament to compete at the highest level," Mallinder said. "He has a positive impact for his team's attacking capability but is also sold defensively and under the high ball.
"He will also give us another goal kicking option, and his versatility and quality will give us added depth in the back three positions."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship