Northampton Saints can today confirm that Teimana Harrison will depart the Club at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season.
The 29-year-old back row has spent a decade at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, making 183 appearances to date in Black, Green and Gold and scoring 26 tries along the way, but will leave the Gallagher Premiership to pursue a new playing opportunity overseas.
“While we are disappointed to see Teimana move on, we respect that he has made this decision with his family’s future in mind,” said Saints’ incoming Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson.
“We know that Saints’ supporters love watching Tei play; he’s dogged in attack and in defence, always punches above his weight, and you know that he will empty the tank every time he steps onto the field.
“He’s been totally committed to the Club over the past decade, but now he has decided the time is right for a change of lifestyle for his family, and a new experience of rugby overseas.
“We are blessed with plenty of depth in the back row but are also active in our efforts to strengthen in that space ahead of the 2022/23 season. For now, Tei is firmly focused on ensuring that Saints end this campaign on a high note, and we will wish him the best for the future after that.”
Harrison arrived in Northampton in 2011 after being scouted by Dylan Hartley during a visit to his old school in Rotorua during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand,
initially joining the Club’s Senior Academy before transitioning into the first team.
His breakthrough came during the 2015/16 campaign when he made 27 appearances for Saints, earned the first of five caps for England, and scooped the Club’s Breakthrough
Player, Supporters’ Player and Players’ Player of the Season awards.
Harrison played a key role in Saints’ most recent trophy success, scoring a try in the Final as Northampton lifted the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2018/19.
That same season also saw Harrison score a memorable European hat-trick against ASM Clermont Auvergne, while the following campaign he took on the Club co-captaincy alongside Alex Waller and notched up his 150th appearance in Black, Green and Gold.
Harrison said: “I feel humbled to have been a part of Northampton Saints for the last ten years. I love playing for the Club, and I love living in Northamptonshire, so this has not been an easy decision for me to make and I’m sure my family and I will come back one day.
“But I’ve been given the opportunity to experience a different league and style of rugby, and my family are looking forward to the new adventure ahead of us.
“Saints will always be a very special Club to me. The players and staff here are like my brothers, and I want to thank all the supporters who have given me so many happy memories over the years – I’ll be giving everything I have to finish off this season with some silverware.”