Northampton Saints have announced that Jamie Gibson will be joining the club ahead of the 2015/16 season from bitter rivals Leicester.
Although still just 24 years of age, the back-rower has marked himself out as one of the Aviva Premiership’s players to watch in the last few years.
After playing in the 2010 Junior World Championships and scoring a try in England Saxons’ Churchill Cup final win over Canada in 2011, Gibson was called into the senior England squad in 2012, playing in the non-cap game against the Barbarians that May and facing SA Barbarians on the subsequent tour to South Africa.
Gibson moved to Leicester in 2013, where he became a fixture in the side almost immediately, winning plenty of praise for a string of standout performances. The Tigers supporters’ choice for newcomer of the year, Gibson ended the season training with England and starting the end-of-season game against the Barbarians.
With 70 first team appearances at London Irish and a further 42 at Leicester, Gibson already has considerable experience of playing in the Aviva Premiership and European competitions, and director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that he will bring additional quality to the squad at Franklin’s Gardens.
“Jamie has shown repeatedly at London Irish, Leicester and in England representative teams that he is a player with a big future, and we’re delighted that he has put pen to paper to join the Saints,” said Mallinder.
“Back row is an important part of the team, and while we have some outstanding talent in that area we are confident that Jamie can supplement the players that we already have.
“However even though he has played a lot of games he is still relatively early in his career, and we believe that he has the potential to improve even further.”