Saints Samoan prop does U-turn on Saracens

Northampton Saints prop Soane Tonga’uiha has changed his mind about joining Saracens and now says that he wants to stay with the Saints.

Twenty-eight year old Tongan international Tonga’uiha signed a heads of terms agreement with Saracens but it now seems that he will stay with the Saints and will discuss a new deal to stay at Franklin’s Gardens.

Northampton Saints director Jim Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton: “He’s told them he doesn’t want to join them.

“He’s not signed a contract. He’s been back to us and said he’d like to stay. We’re happy to chat about next season.”

Tonga’uiha moved to Franklin’s Gardens from Bedford in 2006 and has blossomed into one of the most effective players in the Guinness Premiership.

He has made over 100 appearances for the club and scored his third try of the season in the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup  final against Gloucester.

“We’ve got loose-heads we’re looking at, but we’ll not fill that spot,” added Mallinder.

“I’d hope him to stay, he’s expressed a desire to stay and we’d be delighted to keep him here.”

The Rugby Players Association has responded by saying that they have noted the statements made today by Jim Mallinder and Edward Griffiths concerning Soane Tonga’uiha.

They say that they have been in contact with representatives for both Soane Tonga’uiha and Saracens, the RPA recognizes this is a contractual dispute between the player and the club, and must be resolved accordingly.

They say that they are duty bound to give their members independent advice but suggestions that the RPA has given backing to one party are misleading.

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