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Big Joe’s Northampton move stopped

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Northampton have pulled the plug on South African flanker Joe van Niekerk’s high-profile move to the club, according to the BBC.


van Niekerk, 27, was announced as a Saints player in June but his agent and mother Cathy revealed the shock news to end uncertainty over his future.


“I have a contract from 1 November 2007 to 30 June 2010 signed by Joe and chief executive Allan Robson,” she said.


“On 30 October we received an e-mail to say they would not honour the deal.” Neither side will comment further as the matter is thought to be with their lawyers.


He was one of South Africa’s top players at the 2003 World Cup but missed the 2007 tournament due to a back problem.


His mother said that it would be “quite a comedown for Joe to play in the English second division.”

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