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Courtney Lawes to leave Northampton after 17 years for second division Brive

Courtney Lawes poses during the Northampton Saints media session held at the cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens on November 28, 2023 in Northampton, England
Lawes has spent his entire career thus far in Northampton - Getty Images/David Rogers

Courtney Lawes has confirmed his departure from Northampton Saints at the end of the season to join Brive, saying he will leave the club with a heavy heart when his 17-year spell comes to an end.

Lawes has made 274 appearances for the club since coming through the academy and making his debut back in 2007, becoming one of the greatest players in the club’s history.

Brive, who are understood to have made Lawes a significant offer, are backed by England businessman Ian Osborne and currently sit mid-table in the French second division.

“I want to make it clear that I really would have liked to end my career as a one-club man, and Saints did absolutely everything they possibly could to make that happen – our conversations were all very positive,” said Lawes of his exit. “But, first and foremost, I have to make sure that my family and I are in the best position possible for my retirement, which will be in the next couple of years.

“This is likely to be the last contract I’ll ever sign, and the offer I have received to play overseas will be transformational for my family, so there was no way I could turn it down and I took the decision to move away from Northampton.

“I’m so grateful for everything that Saints has given to me. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to play so long for my hometown, and the supporters have been amazing through it all – in both the good times and the bad.

“I’ve been through it all with Saints and I just hope that my efforts on the pitch have reflected my appreciation for the Club. It’s obviously incredibly sad for me to be leaving, but ultimately, I know I am leaving Saints in really good hands on and off the pitch with the players, coaches and staff we have.”

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