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Ford-Robinson to leave Saints

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A switch to a Premiership rival is confirmed after Ford-Robinson calls time on Northampton stint

Jamal Ford-Robinson has confirmed Gloucester will be his next destination after Northampton announced on Wednesday that the 2017 England tourist is leaving the club at the end of the season. 

The 25-year-old tighthead initially arrived at Franklin’s Gardens from Bristol Rugby ahead of the 2017/18 campaign and made an instant impact in his debut season, making 23 first-team appearances.

However, injuries limited him to just two further appearances so far this term, a situation that will see him move to Kingsholm in the summer following a recent spell on loan at Championship side Coventry, 

“Having strength in depth in all positions throughout the squad is vital for any team to be successful,” said Gloucester director of rugby, David Humphreys. “And it’s important that we have a group of props who are all capable of performing at the highest level.
“Jamal certainly meets those requirements. He’s a proven force at Premiership level and has been involved with the England set-up in the past. As well as being strong in the set-piece, he’s also mobile and good with ball in hand which will suit the way we like to play the game.

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“His arrival will complement our existing front row forwards, and we’re happy with how that area of the squad is shaping up for next season as they will all have a role to play.”

Gloucester had been in the market for a new prop with Paddy McAllister set to join Connacht and Gareth Denman another potential departure, and Ford-Robinson’s ability to play both loosehead and tighthead, as well as his powerful ball-carrying in the loose, will make him a valuable addition at the Cherry & Whites.

Northampton wished the departing prop well . “Jamal remains focused on giving his best for the club for the remainder of this season, and everyone at Saints wishes him well for the future,” said director of rugby, Chris Boyd. Saints will have a wealth of options at tighthead next season, with New Zealand star Owen Franks joining to strengthen the squad.

A graduate of the Leicester academy, Ford-Robinson spent 18 months at Cornish Pirates before joining Bristol in February 2015. He stood out with both his ball-carrying ability and set-piece prowess in the front row and appeared in the Premiership, European Champions and Challenge Cups, and Anglo-Welsh Cup during his time with Bristol and Northampton.

In 2017, Ford-Robinson featured in the England side that took on the Barbarians and was then called up to the senior squad’s tour of Argentina after his performance in that game. Ford-Robinson only played his first match for Saints this season in a January Challenge Cup fixture and he followed that up with a run off the bench earlier this month in the Premiership versus Bristol.

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A switch to a Premiership rival is confirmed after Ford-Robinson calls time on Northampton stint