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England prop Trevor Davidson quits Newcastle with immediate effect

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Twice-capped England prop Trevor Davidson has exited Newcastle with immediate effect to permanently join Northampton, with Irish prop Oisin Heffernan moving in the opposite direction on loan until the end of the season. The Saints also confirmed the permanent departure of Ehren Painter to Exeter.


Front-rower Davidson was capped on two occasions by Eddie Jones in 2021, debuting off the bench versus the USA and then featuring again some months later versus Australia. A statement read: “Northampton Saints have signed England international Trevor Davison from Newcastle Falcons, with the 30-year-old prop arriving at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens with immediate effect.

“Primarily a tighthead but able to play on both sides of the scrum, Davidson has made over a century of appearances for Falcons since joining Newcastle from Blaydon RFC – with 79 of those coming in the Gallagher Premiership.

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“The 6’2”, 122kg front rower had represented hometown club Blaydon since the age of 11, also being selected for England Counties on multiple overseas tours before making the step up into the full-time professional game.

“Davison’s impressive form within Newcastle’s imposing front row earned him an England call-up in June 2021, and he made his Test debut off the bench against the USA at Twickenham the next month. He has since earned one further cap against Australia in the 2021 Autumn Nations Cup and was included in Steve Borthwick’s wider training squad before this year’s Six Nations championship.”


Northampton boss Phil Dowson said: “We are absolutely delighted to sign a player of Trevor’s calibre for the remainder of this season and beyond. We are excited about what he can bring to our squad; he’s an international tighthead, he’s a top-quality operator in the Premiership, and crucially he’s another player whose attitude is all about improving his game.


“Trevor brings his reputation as a tough, competitive player with him to Northampton. He is someone who wants to be dominant in the set-piece, but also brings some real quality around the park as well as that toughness, so we’re confident he will be a great fit for us.”

Davison added: “I’ve really enjoyed watching Saints over the past few seasons – I like their style and the brand of rugby the team is playing, which is really entertaining. I’m at the stage of my career where I feel like I need a change; I’ve been in Newcastle my whole life, so when the opportunity arose to come to Northampton, I wanted to give it a shot.

“I have spoken to Robbie Smith, Joel Matavesi and all the boys I know from England camps about the Club, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the environment and the coaches here. The team is always there or thereabouts in the Gallagher Premiership’s top four come the end of the season, so I’m really looking forward to competing for some silverware and hopefully I can earn myself some more opportunities at international level as a result as well.”

Newcastle Falcons’ chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “It’s a shame to see Trevor go, especially mid-contract, and we were very much looking forward to having him as part of our squad next season. That being said, we have accepted his request to move on and will not stand in his way. It’s been a pleasure having him at Newcastle Falcons and we wish him all the best as he joins up with the Northampton Saints team.”


Northampton also confirmed that fellow props Painter and Heffernan have departed, Painter joining Exeter on a permanent deal and Heffernan loaned to Newcastle Falcons until the end of the season. Dowson explained: “Ehren has always been someone with a ‘Saints First’ attitude. He is a top man to have in the squad, but he has struggled this year for opportunities in the first team and he is desperate to try and find some more game time.

“Exeter wanted him immediately and with Trevor coming in, that worked out well with Oisin also moving in the opposite direction to Newcastle to cover for them. Oisin is still contracted with Saints next season and is another who needs more game time and an opportunity to show what he can do in the Premiership, so we will follow his progress with interest.”


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