Bruce Reihana will end his nine-year stay at Northampton Saints by leaving at the end of season to join Bordeaux in France.
The 35-year-old New Zealander has become a firm fans’ favourite during an illustrious career in the green, black and gold.
Reihana has racked up 1,032 points in 233 appearances for Saints and could yet see his time at Franklin’s Gardens end on a glorious high as the club prepare for Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Perpignan and look set to take a place in the Premiership play-offs.
The club is not making any official statement but it is understood Saints made Reihana an offer to stay commensurate with his standing in the squad. But the offer from Pro D2 side Bordeaux is believed to be substantially better.
Reihana is unlikely to feature in Sunday’s semi-final, which still has 2,000 tickets available.
Saints yesterday trained on the stadium:mk pitch, which will be hosting MK Dons against Notts County tomorrow. It was firm with most of the players using boots with moulded studs.
And after beating Ulster there in the quarter-finals fullback Ben Foden is looking forward to playing on the pitch again.
He said: “To be in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup is massive for us and we know it’s a massive task.
“But we’ve put ourselves in the best possible situation by getting a home quarter-final and now a semi-final.
“It is a football ground but the pitch is in pretty good condition. We like to be a fast, free-flowing team so hopefully it suits us a little bit.
“We were lucky enough to play the quarter-final here so we know what it’s like.”
Meanwhile, London Irish full-back Delon Armitage has been cited for striking Stephen Myler in last weekend’s Premiership clash. He will appear at a RFU disciplinary hearing next Tuesday.