Saints add back-rower Oakley to squad
August 28, 2012
Rhys Oakley back in his Leeds days © Getty Images
Northampton Saints have announced the recruitment of back-row Rhys Oakley from Bourgoin.
The 31-year-old impressed for the Saints during their pre-season campaign and comes to Franklin's Gardens with twp caps for Wales. He has previously turned out for the Dragons, Bristol and Leeds Carnegie and is relishing the chance to run out in the Aviva Premiership for the Saints.
"It's great to be at a big club, certainly the biggest club that I've ever been at," Oakley said. "I'm relishing the chance to do well here. Unfortunately Bourgoin's financial situation meant that things didn't go as well as I wanted in France, but Saints gave me a ring. Things went well and here I am!
"I think I'm coming to Northampton as a more rounded player from my time in France. I had to take a lot more onto my own back and become a lot more professional, rather than have it being forced on me, and I had to learn to communicate effectively in a different way.
"I'm glad I got away from the Premiership for a year; it was good to experience a different culture. So I feel like I'm here refreshed as a player and ready to make the most of my opportunity. The Saints' style of play suits my game and I hope I'll do well here."
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder added: "Quality back rowers are always good to have at the club, and we believe that Rhys can contribute to the squad. Rhys has impressed us over the summer, both in training and in how he has played in the pre-season matches."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland