Wales outhalf Dan Biggar signs for Northampton
Lions tourist will leave Ospreys for Franklin’s Gardens ahead of 2018/19 campaign
Dan Biggar will join Northampton from the Ospreys next summer. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has signed for Northampton.
The 27-year-old will move to Franklin’s Gardens next season, having agreed a contract that takes effect from the summer of 2018.
Biggar, who has won 56 caps and toured New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions this year, will move to Saints from Welsh region the Ospreys.
Biggar is currently on a national dual contract with the Ospreys and Welsh Rugby Union, which expires at the end of this season.
In a joint statement, the Ospreys and WRU said Biggar had declined an option to extend the deal “under significantly improved terms.”
Biggar will follow his Wales international colleague George North to Northampton, and his signing represents a major statement of intent by the Saints.
“I am hugely privileged to sign for a club with the history and tradition of Saints,” Biggar said.
“It is extremely exciting to start a new chapter of my career with a club that shares my ambition to win trophies, which is where this club belongs.
“I have to say a massive thank you to the coaches and board for the confidence put in me, and I look forward to working as hard as I ever have in my career to return the faith.
“This is an opportunity for me and my family to experience rugby in a different environment, and playing in a town and surrounding area which has a massive passion for rugby was a huge attraction.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Ospreys and the Welsh Rugby Union who has supported and helped me throughout my career, and an extra special thank you to the fans who have helped and supported me through highs and lows.
“To play for my home club was a dream come true, let alone to play as many times as I have done.
“I hope my passion for the shirt and people of this region has shone through in my performances, and I would love to leave on a high note with some silverware. I also remain fully committed to Wales and achieving the best I can every time I pull on the red shirt.”
Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder hailed Biggar’s signing, adding: “We are delighted to have secured the signature of such a highly-rated player.
“Dan has shown his excellence year in, year out, for both the Ospreys and Wales, and he performed really well for the Lions this summer.
“The fact that he has put pen to paper a year in advance shows that Dan has plenty of belief in where we are going as a club and our ambitions for the future, and we are looking forward to welcoming him here next summer.”
Biggar, who made his Test debut in 2008, has scored 295 points for his country, putting him sixth on Wales’ all-time list.
The Ospreys and WRU, meanwhile, said: “Dan Biggar has informed his employers of his intention to leave Welsh rugby to join Northampton Saints next season.
“Biggar is under national dual contract with the Ospreys and Welsh Rugby Union for the remainder of the current season, but has declined to take up the option to extend this deal under significantly improved terms.
“Whilst this is disappointing, as the intention is to keep our best players in Wales, there is an appreciation that on occasions market forces will make this impractical.
“The high level of Biggar’s contribution to Wales and the Ospreys during his career to date, and his continued professionalism in this regard, is unquestioned, and all parties continue to wish him well for the future.”