Saints pull out of Shepherd deal after Australian fails fitness tests

Cameron Shepherd will not be joining Saints after failing the club's fitness tests
Cameron Shepherd will not be joining Saints after failing the club's fitness tests

Saints have announced that Cameron Shepherd will not be joining the club.

The 28-year-old Australian had been due to arrive in Northampton in August, having signed a contract several months ago. The deal was signed subject to a number of conditions and on the recommendation of its medical team, the club has decided not to bring Shepherd to Franklin’s Gardens.

“Obviously it is important to believe we will get the most out of our squad throughout the season,” said director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

“With a minimum of 32 games in Aviva Premiership Rugby, the Heineken Cup and LV= Cup, our campaign is the most demanding in the world.

“We obviously monitored Cameron’s condition between signing his contract and his scheduled arrival and after great consideration felt that on balance we needed more certainty about his ability to handle the tough demands of our long season for the duration of his three-year contract.

“We know Cameron has ability and are confident that he will be with another club soon. But while we are disappointed that Cameron will not be joining us we are nevertheless very confident in the ability of our squad to compete in every competition this coming season.

“We have welcomed some exciting players like Ken Pisi, Dom Waldouck, GJ Van Velze and Luther Burrell to Franklin’s Gardens who can offer a great deal in a number of positions.

“They have settled in well, bonded with the rest of the squad and worked very hard in pre-season training and we are all looking forward to the start of the season.”