Saints sign up Leicester LV= Cup back

Northampton Saints have announced that Greig Tonks has become the latest highly-rated English youngster to join the club ahead of the 2010/11 season.

Tonks might still be just 20 years of age but he already has three seasons of Championship rugby under his belt with Nottingham and made his 50th appearance in the recent play-off match against Exeter.

This season he also played in the LV= Cup for Leicester, where Tonks had come through the Academy system.

Equally comfortable at full back, centre or on the wing, Tonks – who is about to graduate with a degree in Economics from Leicester University – has recently added fly half to his list of positions in Nottingham’s series of Championship play-off matches.

Wherever he has played he has been a regular on the scoreboard, with 133 points coming from his 25 appearances this season alone.

Although born in Pretoria, Tonks has played all his representative rugby for England and was part of the Under-20 squads for the 2009 Junior World Championships.

He is excited by the prospect of playing for the Saints, but knows that it will be a tough challenge to get into the first team.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a team that’s doing well and a good opportunity for me to be involved in a growing club that has proved itself this season and has ambition for the future.

“There’s no alternative to playing and I’ve gained match experience with Nottingham. I believe I’m as ready as I am to play, which I hope will stand me in good stead for next season.

“I’ve been following the Saints since I played them with Nottingham in National League One. They’ve been playing exciting and intelligent rugby, which will be good to be a part of.

“They’ve also got a squad full of quality players, but I’m looking at that as healthy competition and I’m going to give it the best shot I can. Hopefully I’ll have a good pre-season, get involved in a few games and take it from there.”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Tonks will be a good addition to the Saints squad.

“Although he is young Greig has played a lot of rugby for a successful team in a competitive league,” he said.

“He is an intelligent rugby player who can play in a variety of positions, which is important as we prepare for the challenges of the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup next season.”

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