Centre Estelles is the Juan for Saints as he signs on at the Gardens

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

Saints have added to their centre options for the new season by snapping up Argentina international Juan Pablo Estelles.

The 28-year-old has arrived at Franklin’s Gardens after representing his county in the rugby sevens competition at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Estelles, who was capped in 2008, joins from Atletico de Rosario, one of Argentina’s oldest clubs, and can’t wait to prove himself in the Aviva Premiership.

He said: “I would like to thank the Northampton Saints coaching staff for giving me this opportunity to join the club.

“I am delighted to have this fantastic chance to challenge myself and prove what I can d at the highest level in England.

“I am aware of the great number of world class players that the club has at its disposal and I know that there will be plenty of competition to earn a starting jersey.

“But I believe in my abilities and I will be working hard to make the most of this experience, on and off the field.

“I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and I will be doing all I can to help the club as we strive to achieve our goals.”

Estelles will compete with the likes of Luther Burrell, George Pisi, Harry Mallinder and Tom Stephenson for a spot at centre this season.

And Saints boss Jim Mallinder believes the new recruit can make a big impact at the Gardens.

“Juan Pablo was part of an impressive Argentina squad at the Olympics so we know that he has the fitness levels to go straight into the Aviva Premiership,” Mallinder said.

“He’s a powerful and elusive runner with a good set of handling skills as well as strong defence, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do here at Franklin’s Gardens.”

Saints remain in the market for a lock as they continue to add the finishing touches to their squad for the new campaign.