BOSS Jim Mallinder has confirmed Saints paid an undisclosed fee to secure the services of Dominic Waldouck.
Waldouck signed on at Franklin’s Gardens on Thursday after completing a move from Northampton’s Premiership rivals Wasps.
The 24-year-old had a year left to run on his contract at Adams Park and handed in a transfer request in a bid to ensure a move to Saints.
And Mallinder was happy to pay for the player, who made 114 appearances scoring 17 tries after graduating from the Wasps academy in 2006.
“He was still in contract and in rugby union it’s not a big thing at the moment, in terms of people coming out of contract,” said Mallinder.
“Generally people stay until the end of their contract and then renew or move clubs but we understood Dominic was becoming a free agent and we were very interested in contracting him and that’s what happened.
And when asked whether Saints had been forced to shell out for Waldouck, Mallinder replied: “Yes, the club have paid a fee for him.”
Mallinder first became aware of Waldouck when the centre was making his way through the England age groups.
The London-born ace represented the national side at under 16, under 18, under 19 and under 20 levels and has been a regular in the England Saxons squad.
He will now be aiming to make the step up to the full squad by impressing at Saints, and Mallinder believes Waldouck, who is likely to start at 12 next season, can go all the way in the game.
“He’s just going to strengthen our squad considerably,” said the Saints boss.
“For a start he’s English, we know about him, he’s been involved in some of our teams when we were involved in the junior England setup.
“He knows a number of the players here already, he knows the English game and he’s got the potential to go all the way.
“He’s a fine footballer, he can play at 12 or 13, he’s strong, he’s tough but he’s a good rugby player as well.
“We think with him combined with the centres we’ve already got here, we’ve got a really good squad.”