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Saints release two overseas recruits

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Tongan international Nafi Tuitavake one of two players released by Northampton

Tongan international Nafi Tuitavake is finishing up at Northampton, Saints confirming that the 30-year-old will leave Franklin’s Gardens at the end of the season along with Aussie Andrew Kellaway.

The versatile centres can both fill several roles across the back line and have made 32 and 19 appearances respectively in the Northampton colours.

Tongan Test player Tuitavake joined Saints just after the start of the 2016/17 season from Narbonne, having also played for ITM Cup side North Harbour and Super Rugby for the Crusaders.

Kellaway, 23, has spent one campaign at Franklin’s after arriving from the Waratahs last summer – scoring four times to date including two vital tries in the Gallagher Premiership against Bristol Bears and Wasps.

“I’m really proud to have played for a great club in Northampton Saints and I want to thank all the supporters here at Franklin’s Gardens for their encouragement over the last three seasons,” said Tuitavake.

“The time has come for me to move on, but while I wish the rest of the squad and the coaches the very best for the future, for now I’m focused on finishing off the season as strongly as possible.”

Kellaway added: “I’ve had a great time during my year with Saints; I really think this rugby community in Northampton is special and unlike anything else in the world.

“It’s been an amazing experience for me coming across the globe to play a completely different style of rugby, and I’ll remember the feeling of running out in front of an amazing crowd at Franklin’s Gardens with huge fondness.” ?

Saints claimed a vital 20-19 victory over Harlequins last weekend to close the gap on the top four and keep their Gallagher Premiership play-off hopes alive. Kellaway, who broke a try-scoring record for a single tournament at the under-20 World Cup in 2014, was a replacement in that game, but Tuitavake didn’t make Chris Boyd’s squad.

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Tongan international Nafi Tuitavake one of two players released by Northampton