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Former London Irish back-row forward Tom Pearson joins Northampton

Pearson was left without a club when Irish went into administration last week.

Andrew Baldock
Thursday 15 June 2023 09:30 BST
Tom Pearson has secured a move to Northampton (Steven Paston/PA)
Tom Pearson has secured a move to Northampton (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

Northampton have announced the signing of England World Cup hopeful Tom Pearson.

Back-row forward Pearson was left without a club when London Irish went into administration last week after being suspended from all competitions by the Rugby Football Union.

The 23-year-old helped Irish to a fifth-place finish in the Gallagher Premiership, delivering numerous eye-catching performances.

He was named in England’s first World Cup training squad of the summer by head coach Steve Borthwick, while Pearson ended last term with Premiership and Rugby Players’ Association young player of the season honours.

“I will always be incredibly grateful to London Irish and treasure my time there,” he said.

“They gave me a shot two years ago coming out of university when I was an unknown and probably a bit of a risk.

“It’s tragic to not know the true potential of that team we had, but I want to thank all the players, staff, and the fans for everything they gave me over the last two years and for helping me create lifelong memories.

I want to push on and develop as much as I can as a player

Tom Pearson

“From my very first conversation with (Northampton rugby director) Phil Dowson, he has been extremely honest and clear on the direction he wants Saints to go as a club.

“He really made me feel like I would fit in well in Northampton with the playing group and the style of rugby the team plays.

“He has also got clear ideas on where my game can improve, and I want to push on and develop as much as I can as a player.”

Two of Pearson’s England squad colleagues and former Irish team-mates – Henry Arundell and Will Joseph – have yet to confirm their club futures.

Arundell is thought to be a target for Bath and French club Racing 92, while Joseph has been strongly linked with Harlequins.

On recruiting Pearson, Dowson said: “Tom is an incredible athlete and is just going to get better the longer he is in the professional environment.

“He is very versatile, able to play across the back-row, and thanks to his physicality, movement and off-loading game he can make significant impacts all over the park.”

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