Northampton find their Ludlam replacement with highly rated Aussie


The 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership campaign is turning into a good one for Northampton Saints, as with 12 games played they currently top the table with 44 points – a seven-point advantage over their nearest challengers, Harlequins, and Bath, who are joint level with 37 points.

With plenty of action left in this current campaign though, the Saints continue to look to the future and it was recently confirmed that they have secured the signing of Australian flanker Josh Kemeny for the 2024/25 season from Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels.

The 25-year-old has made 27 appearances for the Rebels having first joined them back in 2020, and in their last term, he scored four tries in 12 games. He first made his Wallabies debut back in 2023 in their game against Argentina, and he won his second cap during their World Cup campaign last year and for those who flutter on the weekend’s rugby live results when he arrives in the country, he might be a player worth looking at.

Saints director of rugby, Phil Dowson, pointed out that the signing was very much with an eye to the future as they see Kemeny as having ‘huge potential’ for significant further development in the months and years to come.

However, they already feel that he is capable of improving their squad on a more immediate basis and will have solid impact in their starting line ups from the get go.

“From watching Josh play, the thing that impressed us the most was his athleticism. He’s powerful, big and fast, he’s a solid lineout option. He has a huge desire to get better as a player.”

As Dowson spoke to announce their newest capture for the coming campaign, he went on to explain that one of the things that attracted them to him was again the future development potential, but also Kemeny’s attitude when it came to improving and testing himself at a different level, such as the Premiership.

According to Dowson, he is keenly well aware that it can be a ‘pretty brutal league’ and whilst it was not maybe out of his natural comfort zone per se, it could well prove to be a bit of a totally new experience, and he is incredibly likely to develop a far greater understanding of the game as a whole, given our more ‘full on’ approach.

Fans in the wider world of rugby will undoubtedly be looking on to see how quickly he settles when he joins next season, as clearly there are incredibly high hopes for how he can adjust to our game and then grow as a person and a player.

For Kemeny himself, he is naturally delighted to have secured himself a new adventure and he was obviously, incredibly, full of praise for his new future employers stating that they were a ‘top class operation’ and given their performances so far this season, he more than nodded to them being on an upward curve and in a good vein of form – particularly with their European involvement.

Saints fans will be hoping their form continues in the league when matches restart after the natural break for the Six Nations tournament to take place, and Kemeny’s arrival should well help off set their loss of England flanker Lewis Ludlam, who will now be departing the club at the end of the current season having been unable to successfully negotiate a new contract extension – as he ultimately turned down the offer that they had put on the table for him.

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