Jim Mallinder has hailed ‘magnificent’ Phil Dowson for the part he has played in Saints’ successes.
And the director of rugby has wished his flanker all the best for his summer move to Worcester Warriors.
Dowson will join the Championship table-toppers on a two-year deal when his Saints contract expires at the end of this campaign.
Mallinder had offered the 33-year-old, who arrived from Newcastle in 2009, an extra season at Franklin’s Gardens, but the Warriors deal proved too good to turn down.
Dom Waldouck will also exit Saints this summer as he heads off to London Irish.
And Mallinder said: “We’re disappointed to lose both players. They’ve both contributed really well.
“Phil Dowson has been here a long time and he’s been magnificent in helping the team to achieve what we’ve achieved.
“He’s a great bloke on and off the field, he is a great leader and he will be missed.
“But he’s got a great opportunity to go somewhere else, they’ve given him a great contract that he couldn’t turn down.
“We did want to keep him but we can’t compete with the sort of offer he’s got and we wish him all the very best.”