Wallabies lock leaves Northampton Saints with immediate effect

Adam Kyriacou
Northampton Saints lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

Wallabies second-row Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will leave Northampton Saints with immediate effect, the Premiership outfit confirmed in a statement.

The lock joined the men in Black, Green and Gold ahead of the 2022/23 season from the Reds in Australia, as the club looked to bulk up their forward pack.

However, after playing 24 games for Northampton that included two tries, Salakaia-Loto has told the Premiership outfit that he would like to return home.

Family haven’t settled

“We are disappointed to see Lukhan return home to Australia, but he made it clear that, while he has enjoyed every moment of his time as a Saint, his family have not settled so far away from home,” said director of rugby Phil Dowson on the club’s website.

“No matter what, as a rugby player your family always has to come first, so we understand Lukhan’s decision and wish him the best moving forward.”

Salakaia-Loto added: “I’m leaving Saints with a heavy heart as I loved my first season representing Northampton and being part of a special group of players here.

“I believe the club has everything in place to challenge for major silverware in the years ahead, but you have to put your family before everything else, and being on the other side of the world from the rest of our loved ones has been difficult.

“So, we’ve made the decision to return home to Australia, but I’ll always cherish the short time I had in Black, Green and Gold, and how all the Saints supporters welcomed us into this community in Northampton.

“I’m leaving some great teammates and friends, but I hope the boys can kick on again next season – and I’ll be supporting everyone at Saints from afar.”

Falcons sign scrum-half

Elsewhere, Newcastle Falcons have completed the signing of scrum-half Hugh O’Sullivan, who arrives from Premiership rivals London Irish ahead of 2023/24.

The 25-year-old agrees a two-year deal and will work with new head coach Alex Codling when he arrives next month from Oyonnax following the Pro D2 promotion final.

Interim head coach Mark Laycock said: “We are excited to welcome Hugh into our squad.

“He has a really strong pass, a good rugby brain and is used to playing high-tempo rugby from his time with Leinster and London Irish, so will be a welcome addition for how we want to play next season.”

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