Northampton Saints today announced centre Luther Burrell will be joining them this summer.
The 24-year-old provides a big presence with his 6’3”, 104kg frame.
Huddersfield-born Burrell made his senior rugby debut for Leeds aged just 19, and went on to make 41 appearances for the club.
His rugby development was aided by several spells on loan to Championship clubs, including Sedgley Park, for whom Burrell played against the Saints in 2007/08.
In all Burrell, who has also played rugby league for Huddersfield and trained with Leeds Rhinos, spent four seasons at Headingley before moving over the Pennines to Sale Sharks last summer.
Burrell has played in all three competitions for the Sharks this season and Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that he will be a useful addition to the squad at Franklin’s Gardens.
“We’ve seen a lot of Luther in action against us in the past five years and think that he will fit in well to the way we like to play the game,” he said.
“He carries the ball very well and gets over the gain line. But he also has the ability to bring other players around him into the game as well, and is a strong defender.
“He will give us good depth in the squad and we’re looking forward to Luther joining us in the summer.”
Burrell is excited by the prospect of moving to the Saints.
“It’s going to be a new adventure for me,” he said. “It’s a massive club playing in the biggest tournaments in the world and I want to be a part of a successful team. Having people I know there already like Calum [Clark], Scott [Armstrong] and James [Craig] obviously helped, but I’m making the move for a combination of factors.
“I want to be playing inside centre and I believe the club suits the way I play. I’m a physical player and like to get teams onto the front foot.
“Obviously with James Downey leaving I know I’ve got big boots to fill. I’ve got a lot of respect for James and have played against him a number of times. But hopefully I can step in and bring something to the Saints squad.”