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Ethan Waller to re-join Northampton after 5-year hiatus

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Ethan Waller is set to re-join Northampton Saints after spending five seasons with Worcester Warriors. The loosehead prop returns to Franklin Garden this summer and the team he made his professional debut for ten years ago.

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The 29-year-old -younger brother of current Saints prop Alex came through Northampton’s Academy system and initially made his debut for the men in Black, Green and Gold in 2012.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to my hometown Club at what is a really exciting time with Phil Dowson and Sam Vesty – two coaches I know well – taking the lead next season,” said Waller. “I’ve loved my opportunity at Worcester and will be forever grateful for the chance they took on me, but now definitely feels like the right time to come home. I’m returning a better rugby player, a better bloke, and I’m really looking forward to being back at Franklin’s Gardens week in, week out.”

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“I have supported Saints since I was a kid, and so to run out in Black, Green and Gold again will be a huge moment for me and my family. I’m focused on finishing the season strongly with Warriors but I’m excited to head back to Northampton this summer to hopefully help the team win some silverware in the years ahead.”

During the club’s double league and cup-winning season of 2013/14, Waller established himself as a first-team regular, making 15 Premiership appearances and won the Saints’ Young Player of the Season title. Waller made 95 appearances for Northampton during his first stint, but left for Sixways in 2017 in search of more game time.

He has since made over 100 appearances for Worcester, with only Exeter’s Alec Hepburn and Harlequins’ Joe Marler playing more Gallagher Premiership minutes at loosehead than Waller’s 2,301 since the start of 2020.

“We’re very pleased to see Ethan return to Franklin’s Gardens,” added incoming Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson. “He left the Club in 2017 in search of more game time, and he’s gone to Worcester and cut his teeth playing a lot of Premiership matches.

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“Ethan’s an excellent scrummager – which is essential – but his ability to get himself in good positions, carry and move the ball in the loose is really important in him being able to fit back into the way Saints play.

“Off the field, he’s a great man who I have a lot of respect for. We know he’s very much a player who will put Saints first with his attitude, and look to keep the group together.

“But most importantly, on the pitch Ethan’s a quality and robust player, who plays the game hard. We see him being able to make significant contributions for us on a regular basis.”

Waller was elected Chairman of the Rugby Players Association in 2021, succeeding Mark Lambert of Harlequins.

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