Shepherd to sue Northampton
August 16, 2012
Cameron Shepherd will play for Sale Sharks next term © PA Photos
Cameron Shepherd's agent has confirmed that they will pursue legal action against Northampton Saints after the club terminated his contract for medical reasons.
The Saints announced back in May that they had recruited the former Western Force man on a three-year deal only to pull the plug on August 6 citing fears over his fitness. He has since signed for Sale Sharks but Shepherd's agent is clearly still appalled at the treatment they received at the hands of Northampton.
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder said at the time: "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."
But Fordham has responded with a statement of his own. "During this very stressful period, Cameron called several times for the man who lured him to the club - head coach Jim Mallinder - who didn't even have the decency to return his calls nor the courage to explain the position directly to Cameron.
"The club has leaned on a very loose medical clearance clause in the heads of agreement which is purely in the club's favour. This is now being scrutinised by the UK-based Rugby Players Association.
"What's the point in having contracts where things can be completely fabricated to break contracts and then cause damage to one's professional reputation, as has happened in this instance? Northampton should be ashamed of themselves and this should be a warning to any player contemplating an association with the club."
Reports suggest that Shepherd - who had already shipped his belongings to the UK when he had found out about Saints' decision - failed the medical on the state of his left ankle but Shepherd's agent claims that: "Expert medical reports from leading independent orthopaedic surgeons and Cameron's former club doctors at the Western Force have concluded that there is nothing wrong with Cameron's ankle.
"Having subsequently passed a medical and signed with the Sale Sharks proves there are huge holes all through Northampton's action and position".
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall
John Griffiths digs into the distant past to try to establish the identity of an England international whose life is a virtual mystery