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Aviva Premiership
Saints add back-rower Oakley to squad
ESPN Staff
August 28, 2012
Leeds' Rhys Oakley is shackled by the Leicester defence, Leeds Carnegie v Leicester Tigers, Anglo-Welsh Cup, Headingley Cardnegie, Leeds, England, November 8, 2009
Rhys Oakley back in his Leeds days © Getty Images
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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."

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