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Veteran Saint agrees one-year extension

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Northampton keep one ex-England player Wednesday after losing one Tuesday

It’s been a 24-hour case of one old England international out, one old England international staying on at Northampton as the Saints continue to make their plans for 2019/20, Chis Boyd’s second full season in charge.

It was Tuesday when the Premiership club confirmed the departure of 31-year-old centre Luther Burrell, the 15-times capped England centre last chosen by Eddie Jones on the 2016 tour of Australia.

Burrell has committed to a cross-code switch to the Super League club, Warrington Wolves. However, Tom Wood, his fellow Saints 30-something, is going nowhere after he agreed a one-year extension on Wednesday with Northampton.

Back row Wood is another who has fallen foul of England’s youthful evolution under Jones. The 32-year-old won the last of his 50 caps off the bench in the March 2017 defeat to Ireland, but he will remain a staple for at least another season in the Saints pack he joined in 2010 from Worcester. 

“I’ve made it clear from the beginning that it was always my first choice to stay here with Northampton Saints, so the decision for me was a straightforward one,” said Wood, fresh from making his 180th appearance for the club in last weekend’s rout of Sale. 

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“I feel as fit as ever and I believe we are on the right track towards success under the guidance of Chris Boyd and our other coaches – so I’m really enjoying my rugby.

“I care very deeply about this club and our passionate supporters; I’m desperate to help get us back to the very top of European rugby and to finish my career on a high at Franklin’s Gardens.

“I want to thank everyone at Saints for showing faith in me and giving me this opportunity to fulfil that aim.”

Coach Boyd, who this week recruited Fijian-born No8 Tui Uru, was glad to keep Wood on his playing roster. “I’ve been taken aback by his dedication to get back to his very best.

“When I arrived he had some injury concerns but he has worked incredibly hard to get that right, and his performances since returning to the side have been top class.”

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Northampton keep one ex-England player Wednesday after losing one Tuesday