LONDON (Reuters) - France number eight Louis Picamoles has rejoined Montpellier from Northampton Saints in a big-money move that the 31-year-old said on Wednesday would probably be the last contract of his career.
The move was confirmed by both parties, with the English Premiership side saying the French club had paid a ‘significant’ transfer fee to secure a player who had two years remaining on his contract.
“The 31-year-old has received a proposal from Montpellier which will underpin the future financial stability for his family,” Northampton said in a statement.
The club said it had agreed the transfer reluctantly and the fee -- which British media put at around 900,000 pounds -- would be reinvested into the playing squad, with the Saints looking for new signings.
Picamoles told the French club’s website (www.montpellier-rugby.com) that it had been hard to refuse the approach at his age.
”Montpellier is my town, it’s the club that made me the player I am today,“ he said. ”I’ve signed for three years, it will probably be my last contract.
“It was something important for me to finish my career at Montpellier, and also for my family. I met my wife in Montpellier, and we see our life after rugby here.”
The player joined Northampton from Toulouse on a three-year contract in 2016, having played at Montpellier for five years until 2009.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson