New signing Curtis to bring Top 14 class to the Gardens as he links up with Saints

Curtis Langdon may still be just 25 but he's already packed plenty into his rugby journey.
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And now he’s packed his bags and returned home to England, having spent a successful spell in France with Montpellier.

Langdon will have learned a lot from the rigours of the Top 14.

He took the plunge to move to Montpellier after Worcester Warriors were placed into administration last season.

Curtis Langdon has arrived at Saints (picture: Tom Kwah/Northampton Saints)Curtis Langdon has arrived at Saints (picture: Tom Kwah/Northampton Saints)
Curtis Langdon has arrived at Saints (picture: Tom Kwah/Northampton Saints)

And now he returns to the Premiership, a league he already knows well having scored 14 tries in 89 appearances for Sale after switching to the Sharks from London Irish’s academy set-up.

“The Top 14 is definitely a different sort of rugby to the Premiership," said Langdon. "People tend to think of it as being a lot slower, and it probably is to some extent but not because the players aren’t as fit.

“Every breakdown is a contest, the collisions are huge, and the ball is therefore slower, which also results in more collisions off the scrum-half. So overall, it’s probably a more physical game, and the set-piece is massive over there.

“All the scrums were battles. It’s not as technical over there, but you’ve got massive blokes in every team doing everything they can to go forward, and it’s the same at the lineout with the driving maul.

“We spent a long time during the week going over the set-piece in France, so you certainly get a sense of how important that part of the game is over there.”

Saints, a fluent attacking team when at their best, will hope Langdon can be an all-round package for them next season and beyond.

And the player certainly has the pedigree, having represented England during the summer of 2021 with two Test appearances, against the USA and Canada.

Langdon said: “I’ve grown up watching the Premiership, always paid attention to what was going on while I was at school, and always wanted to play in this league.

“So, I’m really excited to return to England to play for Saints. Even over in France I was still watching most weekends, following Northampton and seeing how they were getting on before I arrived.

“Obviously, staying over in France also would have meant that I wouldn’t have been able to get picked by England again, and getting back in that team remains a big goal of mine.

“But I know that first and foremost I need to focus on my performances here at Saints, playing really well for Northampton, and trying to help the team go even further than they did this season just gone and win the league.

“There’s a good group of young, English players here who I am looking forward to playing with, and the brand of rugby that Northampton play I think is really going to suit me. I’m really excited to get involved.”

The hooker added: "The way the coaches see the game and want to play, and the way they see me fitting into the system here in Northampton, was what really sold the club to me.

“I sat down with Phil (Dowson) initially, and the way he spoke about my game – my strengths and areas he wants me to work on – it was clear that the club’s coaches were going to do everything they could to help me develop as a player, and get to where I want to be and where they want me to be.”

Langdon was at the Gardens earlier this week and he’s already familiar with several members of the Saints squad.

“Our season finished pretty late over in France,” he explained. “We didn’t quite make the play-offs, but our last game was still the day after the Premiership final, so I’ve got five weeks off from that day onwards.

“I enjoyed a week in the sun with my brother over in France, but then have moved my stuff all over to England now and I’m looking for a place to live here in Northampton.

“I don’t know the area that well yet, but a few of the lads I know around the club have made some really helpful suggestions around good areas to look at, and I’ve got a few viewings scheduled for the next few days. I’m really excited to move here and get started.

“I won’t go away for any more holiday – I just want to settle in Northampton, and keep myself as fit as possible for the start of preseason.

“I’ve played with a few of the lads growing up with the England Under-18s and Under-20s, as well as from camps with the England senior team. Guys like Alex Mitchell, Paul Hill and Lewis Ludlam, and Alex Moon as well I played with growing up.

“Then there’s a few guys I played on loan with too. I was at Doncaster for a while when I was younger, and I actually lived with Joel Matavesi for a few weeks then when he was on loan from Newcastle. He’s a fantastic bloke to be around.

“Tom James was there as well at the same time, so I’m looking forward to linking up with all those boys again here in Northampton.”