- DOB20 Jun 1990
Returning to England to play for Saints at the start of the 2017/18 season, Piers Francis has emerged as one of the most exciting talents in English rugby.
After heading to New Zealand as an 18-year-old to develop his game, Francis caught the eye of the Auckland Academy while playing club rugby and was soon gaining experience in the Mitre 10 Cup for Auckland and Waikato.
After a short stint in Edinburgh, Francis returned to New Zealand and impressed for Tana Umaga’s Counties Manukau – so much so that he was drafted into the Blues’ Super Rugby squad for 2016 and soon became a key member of the squad.
Francis’s play-making abilities in his 11 appearances earned him the ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours for the Super Rugby outfit, and he helped guide Counties Manukau to a first win over Auckland at Eden Park in 39 years en route to the Mitre 10 Cup semi-finals.
Francis was then called into the England squad for the 2017 tour of Argentina, making his debut from the bench in the first Test and creating one try before scoring another.
After signing for Saints in the Premiership he made his debut against Gloucester Rugby in October 2017, and was a huge asset for Northampton with his ability to play both fly-half and centre, as well as taking on kicking duties throughout the season.