Saints have signed former Leeds and Rotherham prop Gareth Denman to bolster the club’s options in the front-row department.
The 22-year-old tighthead has a wealth of experience of first-team rugby at both Leeds Carnegie - where he came through the Academy system - and latterly at Rotherham Titans.
After playing 34 times for Leeds in the Aviva Premiership, Amlin Challenge Cup, LV= Cup, Championship and British and Irish Cup, Denman, who at 6ft tall and weighing 113kg brings a powerful physical presence to the front row, moved to Clifton Lane a year ago where he made 18 appearances for the Titans.
“The Championship is one of the toughest leagues to play in if you’re a front row forward, and Gareth will have learned a lot very quickly over the past couple of years,” said director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
“We believe that Gareth is ready to make the step up to Aviva Premiership level, and that he has the ability to be successful at Franklin’s Gardens over the next few years.”
Denman will step into the void filled by the summer departures of Brian Mujati and Soane Tonga’uiha and is relishing the opportunity to develop his game at the club.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m glad to get back into the professional environment at a club like Northampton,” he said.
“I’m going to get my head down and work hard. The Championship is a tough league and my game has come along a lot just by playing, but the Premiership is another step up altogether and I’ve got a lot to learn.
“You look at how the likes of Brian Mujati and Tom Mercey have developed over the past few years, and I hope to follow in their footsteps, learning from the coaches and other players at Franklin’s Gardens.”