Former Wallabies and Waratahs back Rob Horne has been forced into retirement, after an arm injury.
Horne spent time in hospital this week after suffering a blow against the Leicester Tigers last weekend, with doctors ultimately determining the nerve damage was too severe for him to play again.
The 28-year-old is in his first season of a three-year contract with the Saints, after a decorated career with the Waratahs and 34 Tests with the Wallabies, most recently in the last June Series.
Northampton released a statement on Saturday night, confirming the premature end to his career.
Interim coach Alan Dickens described Horne's retirement as 'tragic' in that statement.
“This is absolutely tragic news, and has been devastating for every member of the squad and staff here,” he said.
“All our thoughts are of course with Rob and his family at this time.
“Rob is not only a world-class rugby player, but he’s an exceptional man. He is a hugely respected and popular member of the dressing room and this will be an enormous loss to Saints – both from a rugby and a personal perspective."
Dickens said Horne had made an impact on the Saints even in the short time he spent at the club.
“Even though he had only been here for one season, I am sure he was destined to become a club legend and, like everyone, I am deeply saddened that his career has been prematurely ended in this way.”