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Johnston agrees Saints exit

Northampton have announced that performance director Nick Johnston has left the club with immediate effect.

Johnston arrived at Franklin's Gardens from Sale Sharks in 2008. Saints say his departure is "by mutual

consent".

"Nick has been an important person behind the scenes over the past few years, and I am sorry to see

him leave us," Northampton chief executive Allan Robson said.

"He has worked extremely hard to get our performance department into a place where it is the envy of the other Aviva Premiership clubs and at the cutting edge.

"However, he now has a young family and wants to take some time to enjoy being a new father."

Saints rugby director Jim Mallinder added: "We're in a much stronger position than we were five years ago.

"And a lot of that is down to Nick, who has put in place procedures and practices that will stand us in good stead for the future, both with the first team and with the younger players in the academy system."

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