Northampton Saints have confirmed that Luther Burrell will be leaving the club at the end of the 2018/19 season.
The 31-year-old centre is in his seventh season at Franklin’s Gardens, and has notched up over 150 appearances in the Black, Green and Gold jersey.
“Luther leaves with our full support and best wishes for the future,” said Saints defence coach Alan Dickens, who has coached Burrell since he joined the Club in 2012.
“I know how difficult a decision this has been for Luther and we are sorry to be saying goodbye to a player of his calibre and experience.
“I’ve known him for 15 years since we were both playing at Leeds together and watching him develop into a top-quality Premiership player and England international has been a pleasure for me.
“He is a very popular member of the squad and around the entire club, so he’ll be greatly missed here both on and off the field.”
Burrell has been strongly linked to a code switch to Warrington Wolves. The Super League outfit see him as a 2020 season replacement for Ryan Atkins, the 33-year-old who is in his testimonial year at the club.
League isn’t an alien rugby code for Burrell. He played for Huddersfield Giants growing up before embarking on a successful union career that saw him play for Leeds and Sale before his 2012 switch to Northampton catapulted him into the England frame.
Burrell has accumulated 158 appearances to date since arriving in Northampton from Sale Sharks ahead of the 2012/13 season, scoring 29 tries.
In his debut season the Huddersfield-born midfielder helped guide Saints all the way to the Premiership final against Leicester Tigers, before the side went one better the following campaign and claimed an historic double success in the Premiership and European Challenge Cup.
Burrell started both finals as Northampton scooped both trophies in the space of eight days, and 2014 also saw him break into international contention as he was called up for England’s Six Nations campaign.
He went on to earn 15 caps for his country, last featuring for the Red Rose in Australia as England secured a historic 3-0 series win over the Wallabies.
Burrell will finish this season at Saints and look to end his time at Franklin’s Gardens on a high, with Northampton still challenging for silverware on three fronts this term.
Burrell said: “Leaving this great club has been an incredibly hard decision for me to make, but the time has come for me to move on.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time here and will sorely miss running out at Franklin’s Gardens – I feel very fortunate to have been a Northampton Saint for the last seven years and bringing up 150 Saints appearances earlier this season was a huge honour for me.
“I’m firmly focused on finishing my time here as strongly as possible and I’m putting everything I have into helping the squad fulfil our potential this year as I’m excited to see what we can achieve.
“I would like to thank all the players, coaches, medical team and support staff who have made my time at the Club so very memorable, and especially all the Northampton Saints supporters who made me feel loved every time I ran out onto the field.”
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