Eves leaves door open to Saints return after heading for exit

Luke Eves has left Saints after his six-month contract came to an end (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Luke Eves has left Saints after his six-month contract came to an end (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Luke Eves says he hopes to return to Saints at some point in the future after his stay came to an end this week.

The centre arrived on a six-month contract during the summer, with Saints looking to add cover during the Rugby World Cup.

But the fact Luther Burrell missed out on a place in the England squad for the tournament, coupled with an early exit for George Pisi’s Samoa’s, meant Eves couldn’t break into the first team.

He did impress during pre-season and in the Aviva A League, and he scored twice in his final outing for the Wanderers, who won 38-13 at Leicester on Tuesday night.

But with Saints already up to the salary cap, the club couldn’t afford to keep Eves on.

And he said goodbye to the club via Twitter on Tuesday before reflecting on his stay at Franklin’s Gardens in an interview with this publication.

“It’s been great,” said the 26-year-old. “I came in as World Cup cover, but with Luther not going I hadn’t had as many opportunities as I’d have liked, but I’ve had a great time.

“I’ve learned a lot and trained with some great coaches and great players, so I can’t complain.

“There was talk of me staying and the club did want to keep me, but after discussions about salary cap and reasons outside of my control, I couldn’t stay.

“I’ve got no complaints, really enjoyed myself and you never know - I could be back at Saints at some point in my career.

“I’d never been part of a top-four Premiership club so training with that calibre of player and coaches was something I relished every day.

“I got opportunties in the A League and came away with a few decent performances, so I can hold my head high.

“You never know what might happen in the future.”

Eves arrived at Saints after his contract at Bristol ended last season, but he will now move back to the city of his birth, where he will spend time with his family over Christmas.

He will then wait and see as he looks to land another move, but the former England Under-20 international is relaxed about his situation.

“I haven’t got anything lined up just yet,” said Eves.

“I’ve moved back down to Bristol so I will have Christmas with my family because as players we don’t get to have much time off over Christmas.

“I’ll pick up in January and see where I go from there.

“Now is an iffy time of season so I’m probably going to have to wait for an injury somewhere.

“You take the gamble of a short-term contract and when a club like Northampton came in, I was always going to jump at that.

“Something will sort itself out. I’m not going to panic, I’m just going to enjoy my Christmas and see where I go in January.

“I definitely would have jumped at staying at Saints and if the opportunity came round again of course I’d be interested, but we’ll have to see what the future holds.”