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Ex-NRL academy made one of two fly-halves to sign for Northampton

Northampton Saints announced the immediate signing of fly-halves Charlie Savala and George Makepeace-Cubitt.

Former Sydney Roosters academy player Savala, 23, was loaned out to Franklin’s Gardens from Edinburgh this season but has made the move permanent for next season. The English qualified number 10 has made three appearances for the Gallagher Premiership leaders this season and made his debut against Toulon in the Investec Champions Cup in December.

“When the opportunity first came up to join Saints it was something special,” said the Australian-born fly-half.

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“I was ready for a change and wanted to have the opportunity to develop and prove myself in a new environment. I really enjoyed the change of scenery – both from a living perspective and from a rugby perspective.

“The coaching here is first class, the squad we have is very competitive and I feel like I’m getting better every day in the environment.

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“The depth we have at fly-half – with Fin Smith having an incredible season this year and George Furbank playing well there too – is good for me to have people you can work with to get better.

“Having that cohesion as a half flying group only produces positive results. We all push each other to be better, whether it’s off the field, watching film together or working on our fitness. It was really good to have those guys that I could push myself with.

“With the success we have had on the pitch and on some big occasions this season, playing in and around is what you want as a player. I got a taste of it this year and would like more of it.

“As rugby players we all want to play, I want to be part of the squad we have here at Saints. I want to play as much as possible and continue to develop. I really enjoy it here and would like to continue.”

England U20 fly-half Makepeace-Cubitt joins from National League 1 side Reading Rams with immediate effect.

The twenty-year-old made the switch to Reading after his previous club London Irish came under administration last season.

“I ended up at Rams after London Irish unfortunately went bankrupt,” Makepeace-Cubitt said.

“I got consistent playing time there and managed to get invited to the England Under-20 camp.

“I had no expectations of playing but ended up getting some game time which was great and then Saints contacted me to invite me for a trial.

“A lot is going well with the Club this season, it is an attractive place to play. If you look at the players who have come through the Academy and how well they have done, for me this is a place where I can see myself improving as a player.

“That is the most important goal for me at the moment. You want to be part of a team and participate, but it’s also about learning from the people around you who have done it before and who are currently doing it.

“When you kick with Fin in training you can see the details he goes into, and it will be good to learn from him and Furbs as well. We have similar styles in the way we play at full-back, but Furbs has really brought himself into that second role as a ball player, and that’s something I want to develop. You couldn’t have better people to learn from.

“For me it’s about trying to become a better player. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to play for the Under-20s again this summer, but after that I want to come back here and really participate in this team. Whether that’s at 10 or 15, playing games for Saints is where I want to go.”