Saints fend off Saracens as Tonga’uhia signs deal

NORTHAMPTON have announced their in-demand prop Soane Tonga’uhia has signed a new three-year contract at Franklin’s Gardens.

The news comes despite Tonga’uhia agreeing a five-year deal, reportedly worth more than 1million, with their Guinness Premiership rivals Saracens two months ago.

Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths had earlier fired a verbal broadside at Northampton over the saga. “If every club had behaved as Northampton have in this matter we would have chaos, the Wild West, a game where contracts are effectively meaningless,” Griffiths said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“After long consideration, Soane reached a decision that he wished to join Saracens, and he duly signed on the dotted line.”

Saints though, appear to have won the battle after announcing that they had secured the 28-year-old’s services.

Northampton chief executive Allan Robson said: “Saracens are obviously disappointed that Soane will not be joining them next season after all. However, their criticism of the player and Saints is totally without merit.

“Soane had strong personal reasons for his change of heart. Once he had made this known to us and he was able to confirm that in fact he had not signed a contract with Saracens and was free to sign with Saints, we did not hesitate to offer him a deal to keep him at Saints for the next three seasons. His decision is a boost for the whole club as we enter the crucial last weeks of this season and build for the future.”

Tonga’uhia, who joined Northampton from Bedford in 2006, is a candidate for Premiership player of the season. “I’m very happy to sign again with Saints,” he said. “It has been my decision and my decision alone to stay.”