Saints sign Cook as cover after Taylor opts to call time on his rugby career

Saints have drafted in scrum-half Chris Cook after Henry Taylor opted to hang up his boots to pursue a career outside of rugby.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 3:58 pm
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 4:01 pm
Henry Taylor

Cook, who enjoyed a stint with Bristol Bears last season, has signed a short-term deal at Franklin's Gardens, with Taylor taking on a new job in the city.

The 27-year-old had made 33 appearances in two seasons at Saints after making the switch from Saracens in 2019.

But he believes now is the right time for him to exit rugby.

Chris Cook

“I’ve been lucky enough to make some amazing memories at Saints and throughout my entire time playing rugby, and made some even better friends doing it,” said Taylor.

“But now is the right time for me to try my hand at something new and I’m really excited about this new opportunity I’ve been given to pursue a new career path outside of rugby.

“I want to thank everyone at Northampton for their support over this decision, and I wish the squad and all the Saints supporters the best for the future.”

Saints boss Chris Boyd said: “Henry has been an important part of our playing group over the past two seasons and leaves with our best wishes for the future.

“He’s been completely committed to Saints throughout his time at the Gardens and I’d like to thank him for all he has done in black, green and gold.”

Cook has plenty of Gallagher Premiership experience, coming through Bath’s Academy system and making 142 appearances in blue, black and white between 2010 and 2020.

He also has representative honours to his name, making nine appearances for England U20s in 2011.

He will compete with Alex Mitchell, Tom James, Connor Tupai and youngster Jake Garside for scrum-half starts at Saints in the coming months.

Boyd said: “We’re very pleased to bring Chris into our set-up on a short-term basis.

"He’s a scrum-half with a lot of Premiership experience – he’s shown he can perform at the top level and will add depth and quality to the group we already have.

“Chris joins Alex Mitchell, Tom James, Connor Tupai and Jake Garside in our stable of English-qualified No.9s.

"We have a range of experience in that group, but a huge amount of potential across the board, and we’re confident all five will help to bring the best out of each other this coming season.”