Tom Stephenson and Ben Nutley set to leave Northampton Saints.
Northampton Saints can today confirm that both Tom Stephenson and Ben Nutley will leave the Club at the end of this season.
The pair, aged 23 and 25 respectively, have both made over 50 appearances in Black, Green and Gold since coming through the Club’s Academy.
After making his debut in 2012, Stephenson announced himself on the big stage in Saints’ 2013/14 double-winning season – with the centre’s blend of pace and power seeing him star in Northampton’s run to the Aviva Premiership final.
Stephenson was on the field at the final whistle that day as Saints claimed a stunning triumph over Saracens, before making 25 appearances the following campaign. Injuries then limited his chances to impress at Franklin’s Gardens, although he returned to first-team action earlier this season and has turned out 13 times since for Saints.
“I’m so proud to have played for the Club I have grown up supporting over the last five seasons, and I want to thank everyone that helped me along the way,” he said.
“All the Club’s coaches have been fantastic for me, from the Academy all the way up into the first team, and I’m also hugely grateful to the medical staff who have got me through some tough times in recent years.
“Ever since I first pulled on the Black, Green and Gold jersey, I have wanted to help Northampton become the best Club in this country and do my best for such a loyal group of supporters.
“But the time is right for a fresh start for me now, and I’m excited about what’s in store for the next stage of my career.”
Back-row Nutley meanwhile made his first-team Saints debut back in 2010, before breaking into the side during the 2011/12 season.
And as well as helping Northampton to a league and European Challenge Cup double in 2014, Nutley has also starred for the Wanderers in recent seasons – reaching two A League finals before finally lifting the trophy last year.
He said: “I’ve had some incredible highs in my time at Franklin’s Gardens, and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity to have made so many memories at my childhood club.
“To have made over 80 appearances for the Saints first team is something I am very proud of, and helping the Wanderers win the A League trophy last year and scoring in the final gave me enormous pride.
“I want to thank the Northampton supporters for always getting behind me, and I wish the rest of the squad and the coaches the very best for the future.”