Stephenson and Nutley to exit Saints this summer
Saints have announced that Tom Stephenson and Ben Nutley will be leaving the club this summer.
Both players came through the club's Academy but have been unable to secure a regular starting spot in the first-team in recent times.Stephenson has played a total of 54 games for Saints, scoring seven tries, having made his debut against Harlequins in November, 2012.His most memorable campaign came during the double-winning season of 2013/14 as he started nine times, making a further four appearances from the bench.And he went on to start 17 games during the following season as Saints finished top of the Premiership table for the first time.The Oxford-born centre has been beset by injuries, breaking his leg during a pre-season friendly against Rotherham in 2016.But the 23-year-old has secured a deal elsewhere as he aims to fully realise his obvious potential.
“I’m so proud to have played for the club I have grown up supporting over the last five seasons, and I want to thank everyone that helped me along the way,” Stephenson said.
“All the club’s coaches have been fantastic for me, from the Academy all the way up into the first team, and I’m also hugely grateful to the medical staff who have got me through some tough times in recent years.
“Ever since I first pulled on the black, green and gold jersey, I have wanted to help Northampton become the best club in this country and do my best for such a loyal group of supporters.
“But the time is right for a fresh start for me now, and I’m excited about what’s in store for the next stage of my career.”
Nutley has also been a strong performer for Saints whenever called upon, scoring six tries in 81 appearances since making his debut against Yorkshire Carnegie in February, 2011.The Luton-born flanker, like Stephenson, has had injury issues that have prevented him from getting the kind of run in the first team that he has desired.But the 25-year-old was able to make 13 appearances during the double-winning season.
“I’ve had some incredible highs in my time at Franklin’s Gardens, and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity to have made so many memories at my childhood club," Nutley said.
“To have made more than 80 appearances for the Saints first team is something I am very proud of, and helping the Wanderers win the A League trophy last year and scoring in the final gave me enormous pride.
“I want to thank the Northampton supporters for always getting behind me, and I wish the rest of the squad and the coaches the very best for the future.”