Northampton Saints can confirm that David Ribbans will depart the Club at the end of the 2022/23 season.
The 27-year-old lock has pulled on the Black, Green and Gold jersey 115 times to date, starting 98 matches for Northampton and scoring 17 tries so far.
“As a coaching group, we are very proud of the progress Dave has made during his time at Saints,” said Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson.
“He arrived in Northampton as a 21-year-old without many Super Rugby appearances to his name. He will leave as a fully-fledged England international and a proven performer in the Gallagher Premiership, one of the most attritional and competitive leagues in the world.
“You always want to create an environment for players where they can work hard, thrive, win matches and be successful on the international stage. Sometimes, that means players become attractive propositions for other clubs.
“Dave leaves to pursue a playing opportunity in France next season. It’s disappointing to lose a player of his calibre, and we were surprised Dave wanted to leave the Club at this time.
“But he is of course a professional, and will be putting all his efforts in his final months in Northampton to ensure the team is as successful as possible. We will wish him well after that.”Phil Dowson, Director of Rugby
Ribbans made the switch to Saints from South African outfit Western Province in January 2017, and helped Northampton reach the semi-finals of the Gallagher Premiership and win the Premiership Rugby Cup in former Director of Rugby Chris Boyd’s first season at the helm.
He kicked on in 2019/20 when he was named Players’ Player of the Season by his Saints peers, and made it a double success the following campaign, as he claimed both the Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the Season gongs.
He reached a significant milestone while helping Saints reach the Premiership semi-finals once more in the 2021/22 season, making his 100th appearance for the Club against Wasps during which he won the man-of-the-match award.
And after several inclusions in England training squads, international honours finally followed for Ribbans last November, when he earned three caps for the Red Rose in the Autumn Internationals against Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.
Ribbans said: “I love playing for Saints and living in Northamptonshire, so this was not an easy decision for me to make. I’m extremely grateful to the Club’s supporters for embracing me as they have in my time here, and to the coaches and support staff for everything they have done to improve me as a player.
“I’ll be sad to leave some great friends and teammates, but I’ll be giving everything I’ve got to make sure we finish the season as strongly as possible.”