Haskell and Cipriani move to keep World Cup hopes alive

by AFP

Northampton announced on Monday the signing of England back-row forward James Haskell on a one-year contract from rival English Premiership side Wasps.

Haskell was a member of the Lions squad that toured New Zealand in 2017 and has represented England 77 times, including at two Rugby World Cups.

"I'm really excited and humbled to be joining a giant of English rugby in Northampton Saints," Haskell told Northampton's website.

"Having had the opportunity to play against them for many years now, I know this is a club with a proud history and a set of passionate and loyal supporters who always make their presence felt.

“It's no secret that I want to continue my international career for as long as possible. The only way I can do that is by putting my best foot forward in club rugby and helping Saints fight their way back into contention for silverware."

Danny Cipriani is back in the England Test squad. Photo: Getty ImagesHaskell made more than 200 appearances for Wasps during two spells, winning both the Premiership and Heineken Cup.

The player, who has also spent time with Stade Francais, Japanese club Ricoh Black Rams, and New Zealand side Highlanders, can play in any of the three positions across the back-row.

Northampton's director of rugby Chris Boyd said: "We're thrilled to have captured James's signature for next season as he's a player that can bring so much to Saints.

Not only is he a superb leader with bags of experience at the very highest level, but James is clearly still extremely hungry to win trophies in club and international rugby."

England's Danny Cipriani has signed for Gloucester as he seeks to revive his international career, the English Premiership side announced on Monday.

The 30-year-old, whose contract with Wasps expires at the end of this season, was recalled to the England squad by Eddie Jones for the summer tour of South Africa after a three-year absence.

"It's the most exciting move of my career to date," said Cipriani, who has

14 Test caps. "I've still some important rugby to play for Wasps in the meantime and, when the time comes, it's probably going to be an emotional farewell."

Gloucester's director of rugby David Humphreys said: "As one of the most influential and talented fly halves in the Premiership over the past decade, the chance to sign him was simply too good an opportunity to turn down.

"He's probably in the best form of his career, reflected in his selection in the England squad to tour South Africa, and his signing is a significant one for the club."