Shepherd no longer heading to Northampton

by staff

Former Qantas Wallabies utility Cameron Shepherd's career is in limbo after English Premiership club Northampton tore up his new contract on medical advice.

The 28-year-old fullback and winger was due to join the Saints on a three-year deal this month after seven seasons with Super Rugby team the Western Force.

But the Australian's arrival was subject to several conditions and, on advice from Northampton's medical team, the club cancelled Shepherd's contract.

The gifted Shepherd debuted for the NSW Waratahs as a 20-year-old and, after being picked for Australia two years later, he won the last of his nine caps for the Wallabies in 2010.

He has spent long periods on the sidelines in recent seasons, with groin and wrist injuries restricting him to just two games for the Force in 2012.

"Obviously, it is important to believe we will get the most out of our squad throughout the season," said Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

"With a minimum of 32 games (a season) ... 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."