Saracens and Saints settle Tonga'uiha dispute

Northampton and Saracens, the two clubs involved in an amusingly fractious spat over the services of the Pacific Islands prop Soane Tonga'uiha, yesterday reached an "amicable" agreement that allows the player to remain with the Midlanders next season – and, indeed, for the two seasons after that. Given that Tonga'uiha had pledged himself to Saracens, and that the Watford-based club subsequently accused their rivals of showing "complete contempt for justice and integrity", it may not have been as amicable as all that. We will find out when the two clubs meet at Franklin's Gardens a week tomorrow.

Tonga'uiha, said to be concerned that a continued association with Northampton might threaten his chances of playing for Tonga at next year's World Cup in New Zealand, announced his decision to join Saracens earlier this year – a move trumpeted as enthusiastically by player as it was by the club. Then, he changed his mind and signed a three-year extension to his existing deal.

"We must decide whether we operate a league where signed agreements mean something and are respected, or whether we have chaos," said the Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths at the time, adding that he confidently expected to see Tonga'uiha for pre-season training in July. After a meeting with Premier Rugby officials last week and further discussions over the last couple of days, those expectations are strictly past tense.

It was always likely to turn out this way: ultimately, there is not much value to be had from a player if he would rather be playing his rugby elsewhere. Under yesterday's agreement, neither club will comment further on the issue. If Northampton paid Saracens compensation, no one was saying so.

By way of rubbing salt in the wounds of Griffiths and company, the Midlanders named Tonga'uiha as their player of the month. They also confirmed the signing of the powerfully constructed Leeds wing Scott Armstrong, who will move south at the end of the current campaign. Always assuming, of course, that he doesn't change his mind.

Wasps, meanwhile, are looking for a new chief executive after the departure of Paul Harrison, who joined the boards of Wasps and Wycombe Wanderers who share the Adams Park stadium in High Wycombe, only five months ago.

In Wales, the Lions hooker Matthew Rees will miss Scarlets' Magners League meeting with Cardiff Blues tomorrow night after failing to recover from a neck injury. The Llanelli-based side are at serious risk of missing the cut for next season's Heineken Cup.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style