Ethan Waller will return to Northampton Saints this summer, with the Club securing the signature of the loosehead prop on a new contract ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
The 29-year-old moves back to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens from Worcester Warriors, where he has spent the past five seasons.
Waller – younger brother of current Saints prop Alex – came through Northampton’s Academy system and initially made his debut for the men in Black, Green and Gold in 2012.
He became a regular in the first-team squad during the Club’s double league and cup-winning campaign of 2013/14, making 15 Premiership appearances and winning Saints’ Young Player of the Season award.
In total, Waller made 95 appearances during his first stint with Northampton, but departed for Sixways in 2017 in search of more game time; he has since notched up over 100 appearances for Worcester, with only Exeter’s Alec Hepburn and Harlequins’ Joe Marler playing more minutes in the Gallagher Premiership at loosehead than Waller’s 2,301 since the start of 2020.
“I’ve loved my opportunity at Worcester and will be forever grateful for the chance they took on me, but now definitely feels like the right time to come home.
“I’m returning a better rugby player, a better bloke, and I’m really looking forward to being back at Franklin’s Gardens week in, week out.”Ethan Waller
“I have supported Saints since I was a kid, and so to run out in Black, Green and Gold again will be a huge moment for me and my family. I’m focused on finishing the season strongly with Warriors but I’m excited to head back to Northampton this summer to hopefully help the team win some silverware in the years ahead.”
Between 2012 and 2017, Waller became a supporter favourite around cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens – thanks not only to his eye-catching performances in the loose and anchoring Saints’ scrum, but also helping to set-up numerous fundraising events for charity.
He was elected Chairman of the Rugby Players Association in 2021, succeeding Mark Lambert of Harlequins.
“We’re very pleased to see Ethan return to Franklin’s Gardens,” added incoming Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson. “He left the Club in 2017 in search of more game time, and he’s gone to Worcester and cut his teeth playing a lot of Premiership matches.
“Ethan’s an excellent scrummager – which is essential – but his ability to get himself in good positions, carry and move the ball in the loose is really important in him being able to fit back into the way Saints play.”Phil Dowson
“Off the field, he’s a great man who I have a lot of respect for. We know he’s very much a player who will put Saints first with his attitude, and look to keep the group together.
“But most importantly, on the pitch Ethan’s a quality and robust player, who plays the game hard. We see him being able to make significant contributions for us on a regular basis.”