Northampton make double forward signing

Northampton Saints have announced the double signing of forwards Adam Eustace and Mark Sorenson ahead of the 2010/11 season.

Eustace is one of the Guinness Premiership’s most experienced campaigners. Aside from a one-year spell at the Scarlets he has spent his entire career at Gloucester and he has worn the Cherry and White hoops over 200 times.

Eustace, who can play both lock and number eight, is certainly one of the Guinness Premiership’s most durable forwards and has been a regular starter in recent resurgence at Kingsholm.

Sorenson is another lock forward who has had a massive impact on the Guinness Premiership, this time in the colours of Newcastle.

he 30-year-old joined the Falcons in 2006 from Bay of Plenty, where he had been voted the team’s best forward in the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup and had played against the 2005 British and Irish Lions.

His consistency of performance at Kingston Park was recognised immediately with his winning both the Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters Club Player of the Year awards for 2007/08.

Both Eustace and Sorenson are excited by the prospect of playing at Franklin’s Gardens.

“I’ve been at Gloucester for a long time and this move to Northampton is a new challenge for me,” Eustace said.

“It’s a fresh start and a new lease of life for me. I’m thoroughly looking forward to it. Every time I’ve been there it’s been a tough place to play. The fans and the facilities that the Saints have got are great, and the team that Jim and Dorian have put together are doing well. They’ve got a tough pack of forwards and backs who can score from anywhere.

“Northampton have also got the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup already and are competing in another two competitions and if it is the same next year it’ll be good to be a part of that as well. I’m thoroughly looking forward to it.”

“I’ve got a burning ambition to play in the Heineken Cup,” said Sorenson.

“Northampton are consistently making it into that competition now and are doing well this year. I’m also looking for a new challenge. I’ve had three-and-a-half years at Newcastle but need something new to keep the rugby ambition alive. I’ll also be playing with a few ex-team mates from up this way and I get along with them.

“When Northampton showed interest I spoke to them and it sounds like a professional set-up, which you can tell by the successful season they’re having this year. There is progression and ambition and the club is going in the right direction. It could be some exciting times! Pre-season will be tough but it will be refreshing in a new environment.

“I’m leaving on good terms with Newcastle. The supporters have been there through my time at Kingston Park and my wife and I have enjoyed our time up here. And my son will always be a Geordie, even though he will have a Kiwi passport!”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that both players will be good additions to the Saints squad as they build for the future.

“Overall we have a very young squad at Franklin’s Gardens, and while this is exciting we also need some experience around as well,” he said.

“Adam and Mark will both bring a record of consistently high standards that go back for several years.

“They have proven themselves to be quality performers in the Guinness Premiership and are excellent additions to our squad ahead of next season. As well as being good players in their own right they will also be people who the younger players can learn from.”

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