DOMINIC WALDOUCK says he wants to hit the ground running at Saints after signing on from Wasps.
The centre had a year to run on his contract with the High Wycombe-based outfit but handed in a transfer request in a bid to secure a move to Franklin’s Gardens.
He got his wish and has already linked up with the Saints squad as they continue their preparations for the new season.
Waldouck, a graduate of the Wasps academy, has winners’ medals, individual awards and plenty of representative honours under his belt.
The 24-year-old was a Heineken Cup winner in 2007, adding a Premiership medal to his collection the following season.
That summer, aged just 20, he toured with the full England side for the first time, and while he was also chosen for the 2010 trip to Australia an untimely injury in the first match prevented him winning a full cap.
Waldouck became an England Saxon in 2009 and has regularly represented the national second string ever since, most recently in the 2012 Six Nations game against Scotland.
And the London-born player is now hoping to start his Saints career with a bang as he bids to earn further honours in the game.
“I’m keen to hit the ground running at Northampton and look forward to starting with the boys this week,” said Waldouck.
“I worked with Jim Mallinder a few years ago in the National Academy and know that he likes to produce teams that play attractive rugby, so hopefully I can fit into the system and help contribute to the club’s success.
“My ambition to play for England is as strong as ever and I believe that playing Heineken Cup rugby for the Saints gives me the best platform to help achieve these goals.
“This has been a really difficult decision to arrive at but I feel it is right for me at this stage in my career. I first started training with Wasps when I was 15 and the club has played a massive part in my life over the last nine years.
“The obvious highlights include the Heineken and Premiership wins, but more importantly the friends I’ve made and the supporters are the main memories I will take with me as I leave.
“I’d like to thank Dai Young for his support and advice over the last month, and though he may disagree with my decision, I sincerely wish him and everyone at London Wasps the best for the future.”
Saints boss Jim Mallinder is relishing the prospect of working with Waldouck, who he feels has the best years ahead of him.
“Dom has shown his ability repeatedly throughout his career, especially on the big stages such as Heineken Cup and Premiership finals,” said Mallinder.
“He has a strong all round game and can play in both centre positions. Dom may be young, but he already has a great deal of experience at club level and with the Saxons and I’m sure that his best years are in front of him.
“I’m delighted that he has decided to spend them at Franklin’s Gardens as a member of the Saints squad.”