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Northampton Saints land major coup in England U20s star Kpoku

By Ian Cameron
Joel Kpoku celebrates with the England U20 side, although it might not be long before he's doing the same with the seniors. (Getty Images)

Northampton Saints have carried off a significant coup in nailing down the signing of highly-rated Saracens secondrow Joel KpokuRugbyPass has learned.


At 20-years-old the 6’5, 126kg Kpoku already cuts an imposing physical presence and has featured heavily for Saracens Storm, as well as earning 9 caps for Saracens’ senior team to date.
Known for hard carries and equally hard defensive hits, the Newham born forward was shortlisted for the Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player awared in April.

Despite his abundant abilities – that have seen the academy star feature for England U20s for two seasons running – his playing time is limited at the North London club. The giant secondrow currently sits behind England locks Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Nick Isiekwe, as well as towering Wallaby secondrow Will Skelton.

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RugbyPass understands he has signed a long term contract with Northampton Saints and that his salary will be a multiple of the academy contract he currently commands at Sarries.

Kpoku will make the journey north to Saints for the 2020/21 season.


The lock made a scoring senior debut for the Men in Black against Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Rugby Cup and also dotted down on his first Premiership outing in November 2018 against Sale Sharks.

Kpoku was a key component in Storm’s run to the Premiership Rugby Shield title. His brother Jonathan – who’s also a lock – is also currently at Saracens.

A mainstay in the England Under-20s side, Kpoku made his international bow against the Junior Springboks and has since represented his country at two U20 World Rugby Championships.

The powerful forward was a surprise call up to a full England training camp in August 2018.


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