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Aviva Premiership
Saints pull out of Shepherd deal
ESPN Staff
August 6, 2012
Western Force fullback Cameron Shepherd brushes aside all before him, Reds v Western Force, Super Rugby, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, February 20, 2011
Cameron Shepherd will not be joining the Northampton Saints © Getty Images
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Northampton Saints have pulled out of their deal to sign Australian international Cameron Shepherd.

The Saints appeared to have tied up a deal for the nine-cap Wallaby back in May but Northampton have pulled out of the transfer due to misgivings over his level of fitness. The original deal was subject to a number of conditions and the Saints have now opted not to take up their three-year contract with Shepherd.

"Obviously it is important to believe we will get the most out of our squad throughout the season," director of rugby Jim Mallinder said. "With a minimum of 32 games in Aviva Premiership Rugby, the Heineken Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup, our campaign is the most demanding in the world.

"We obviously monitored Cameron's condition between signing his contract and his scheduled arrival and after great consideration felt that on balance we needed more certainty about his ability to handle the tough demands of our long season for the duration of his three-year contract.

"We know Cameron has ability and are confident that he will be with another club soon. But while we are disappointed that Cameron will not be joining us we are nevertheless very confident in the ability of our squad to compete in every competition this coming season.

"We have welcomed some exciting players like Ken Pisi, Dom Waldouck, GJ Van Velze and Luther Burrell to Franklin's Gardens who can offer a great deal in a number of positions. They have settled in well, bonded with the rest of the squad and worked very hard in pre-season training and we are all looking forward to the start of the season."

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