Grayson to say goodbye to Saints on Sunday as fly-half gets set to move to Japan

James Grayson will say his goodbyes at Saints on Sunday as he gets set to make the move to Japan.
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Grayson requested to pursue a playing opportunity in Japan's Rugby League One, and the club accepted.

The fly-half, a product of the Saints Academy, has been frustrated by a lack of game time.

And he will now move on to pastures new, having racked up 617 points in 92 appearances for Saints.

James Grayson (photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)James Grayson (photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
James Grayson (photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Grayson will say farewell to the fans at half-time of this weekend's clash with Exeter Chiefs at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

And it is sure to be an emotional moment for the 25-year-old, who has gone from boy to man in the black, green and gold.

“Without doubt this was a really difficult decision for me to make,” said Grayson.

“I’ve grown up with a lot of the lads in the playing group. They’re my brothers, and it’s going to be tough to move away, but I’ll cherish every memory I made with them on and off the pitch.

“Ultimately, this is a decision driven by my desire to play more rugby, more regularly.

"As a professional, all you want is to be able to go out there and play on a Saturday afternoon, so I am making this move to try and further my rugby career – it is an opportunity that I felt like I couldn’t really turn down.

“Saints has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I joined the Academy at 12 years old, but even before that I was a ball boy and obviously was coming down to the Gardens regularly to watch my dad play, so Northampton will always be home for me.

“Whenever I have stepped onto the pitch at the Gardens, I’ve felt like I’ve had the backing of the Saints supporters, and I’ll be forever grateful for the way that they took me in.

“I want to thank the club for allowing me to make this move away at a time that is right for me.

"I also want to thank everyone – the coaches, the medical staff, the strength and conditioning staff, and so on – for all the investment they made in me over the last seven years.

"I feel like I have grown from a boy into a man in that time, and they’ve all played a huge role in making me a better player and a better person.

“I also have to say ‘thank you’ to my family and my partner, Jess. They’ve been with me all the way, as emotionally I’ve dealt with the highs and the lows of professional sport, and I would not be able to do it without them.”

Saints are now set to draft in a loan player as they bolster their options at fly-half.