After weeks of rumours regarding Cobus Reinach’s future, it was confirmed on Tuesday that the scrum-half will leave Northampton Saints at the of this season.
This will bring to an end a three-season stint in which the recent World Cup winner was named Saints player of the season in 2018/19. Inevitably, his sensational form at Franklin’s Gardens attracted interest from abroad.
While it has not yet been confirmed, he is expected to move to the Top 14 to join Montpellier, who have a growing South African contingent.
This is obviously disappointing and damaging for Chris Boyd’s team, as the 29-year-old has been the catalyst for Northampton’s progress over the past 18 months. Many teams have fallen victim to his searing pace.
However, many supporters are understanding why the player has opted to move away.
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The Top 14 can offer far larger salaries than the Gallagher Premiership, particularly a financial powerhouse such as Montpellier.
And although Reinach is now in a way old as he turns 30 in early February, he is entitled to make as much as he can in the remaining years of his career.
Gutted, an incredible player for us. Would have loved you to stay. But at 29 and with the performances you've put in for Saints you've earned a big pension top up, absolutely no complaints if you go to France and take the ?. Hope you leave on a high and good luck with your move!
— Matt Edwards (@mattedwards05) January 14, 2020
Major developments this Tuesday regarding Northampton's popular scrum-half Cobus Reinach https://t.co/Vhiu8rNHub
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 14, 2020
Understandable but nonetheless sad. Good luck.
— robert boyle (@frankieboyledad) January 14, 2020
Ultimately, Reinach’s form has been so good since arriving in England that he worked his way back into the Springboks team in 2019 after a four-year absence. That equally came at a price for the Saints, as if further left him catching the eye of many suitors.
Such a special player, has a knack of making things from nothing, a skill that you cant coach. Hes doing the best for his family and goes with everyone's best wishes no doubt. However i believe this will be the making of Alex Mitchell as England's no.9
— Charles McGillivray (@saintsman13) January 14, 2020
Can happily say (even for the short time he’s been in the prem for) he has been one of the finest SH I’ve had the pleasure to watch. Deserves his retirement fund.
— Jake Turnbull (@JakeRTurnbull) January 14, 2020
There is nevertheless a lot of confidence in Northampton’s back-up scrum-halves who will have the responsibility of filling the void left by the South African.
There is a particular focus on Alex Mitchell, who pushed Reinach for a starting berth last season. Although injured currently, he is expected to return soon and will surely relish the chance of becoming first choice nine next season.
Such a shame but completely expected. Taylor is looking good and when Mitchell is back, we'll still be strong at 9 https://t.co/RN5UzBsb1n
— Jake Marshall (@JakeMarshall91) January 14, 2020
Sad to see such a great player leave. But great news for England and Alex Mitchell. https://t.co/ABHtOhV1f5
— Kidiaba’s Ponytail (@KidiabaPonyTail) January 14, 2020
With over half the season still remaining, the Springbok can still leave the Saints on a high. His team currently sit in second place in the Premiership and could next weekend qualify for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup.
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