Dawson quits Northampton to join Wasps

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The England scrum-half, Matt Dawson, has left Northampton to join Wasps on a one-year contract.

The 31-year-old, who leaves Franklin's Gardens after 12 years, is expected to sign this week, but there is no hurry to get Dawson on board since, as a member of the Elite Player Squad, he and his international colleagues will be entitled to an 11-week off-season.

This is one aspect of a broad agreement made between England Rugby Ltd and the Premiership clubs. The agreement also includes an increase in training days, from two last year to 16 per year in future, and the 60 EPS players, who will be announced at the start of every season, will be restricted to starting 32 games for club and country in a season.