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Northampton sign British and Irish Lions back-row James Haskell

The 33-year-old has joined from Wasps on a one-year deal.

Northampton have announced the signing of British and Irish Lions back-row forward James Haskell.

The experienced 33-year-old joins Saints on a one-year deal from Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps.

Haskell was a member of the Lions squad which toured New Zealand in 2017 and has also 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 Saints’ 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.

“There’s a real buzz around Franklin’s Gardens at the moment with the arrival of (director of rugby) Chris Boyd, a new coaching team being put in place and a number of top-quality players also joining the squad. I can’t wait to get started in black, green and gold.”

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Blues v British and Irish Lions – Eden Park

Haskell made more than 200 appearances for Wasps during two spells, winning both the Premiership and Heineken Cup.

The 6ft 4in player, who has also spent time with Stade Français, Japanese club Ricoh Black Rams, and New Zealand side Highlanders, can play in any of the three positions across the back-row.

He becomes Saints’ seventh signing ahead of the 2018/19 season.

Northampton’s director of rugby Boyd said: “We’re thrilled to have captured James’ 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.

“His record speaks for itself and I have no doubt that he will be an excellent fit for Northampton, both in the side and within the club.”

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