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Northampton Saints sign Samoan international Nansen

By Sam Smith
Brandon Nansen during the Mitre 10 Cup

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Northampton Saints have signed Samoan international second row Brandon Nansen from the Dragons. The 27-year-old forward, who can line-up at lock or in the back row, will arrive at Franklin’s Gardens from Top14 side Brive ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

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Nansen began his senior career in New Zealand with North Harbour, quickly becoming a regular within their set-up and helping the side claim the Mitre 10 Cup Championship title in 2016.

At 6’6” and 121kg, Nansen’s mobility and aggressive ball-carrying saw him picked up by the Blues for their Super Rugby squad in 2017, before the powerful forward travelled to the Northern Hemisphere and enjoyed stints with Stade Français and Dragons ahead of arriving at Brive in the summer of 2020.

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And with an opportunity in the top flight of English rugby beckoning, Nansen is looking forward to turning out in the Gallagher Premiership for Saints.

“I’m really happy to be joining a Club of the calibre of Northampton,” said Nansen. “I’ve always wanted to test myself in English rugby and Saints have a proven track record as one of the strongest sides in the Premiership.

“There’s a really impressive squad already in place at Franklin’s Gardens, and I’m also excited to link up with Chris Boyd and the other Saints coaches – I hope I can play my part in helping the Club reach its full potential.”

After representing New Zealand Schoolboys back in 2011, Nansen elected to represent Samoa at international level and made his debut in 2017 as he lined up against Romania in Bucharest.

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He has featured twice more since for Samoa, and Northampton’s Director of Rugby, Chris Boyd, is looking forward to seeing what the big lock can do at Franklin’s Gardens.

“Brandon is a tough and uncompromising but talented footballer, who already boasts experience playing at the highest level across the world, while also still having some room to develop his game further,” said Boyd. “We’re delighted to add him to the roster for next season; he’s a big unit, but also mobile and able to attack the breakdown hard.

“One of our Academy coaches, Alex O’Dowd, coached him at North Harbour and we believe he’ll be a great fit for the Premiership, so we’re looking forward to having him on board with us.”

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Northampton Saints sign Samoan international Nansen

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