Northampton Saints have announced that former England Under 20 international James Grayson will be leaving the club.
The 25-year-old graduated from Northampton Academy and made his senior debut in 2016. He has overall made 92 appearances for the Saints scoring 617 points that includes nine tries.
Grayson will now head to Japan to play in the Rugby League One following the weekend’s match against Exeter Chiefs.
“Without doubt this was a really difficult decision for me to make,” said Grayson. “I’ve grown up with a lot of the lads in the playing group. They’re my brothers, and it’s going to be tough to move away, but I’ll cherish every memory I made with them on and off the pitch.
“Ultimately, this is a decision driven by my desire to play more rugby, more regularly. As a professional, all you want is to be able to go out there and play on a Saturday afternoon, so I am making this move to try and further my rugby career – it is an opportunity that I felt like I couldn’t really turn down.
“Saints has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I joined the Academy at 12 years old, but even before that I was a ball boy and obviously was coming down to the Gardens regularly to watch my dad play, so Northampton will always be home for me.
“Whenever I have stepped onto the pitch at the Gardens, I’ve felt like I’ve had the backing of the Saints supporters, and I’ll be forever grateful for the way that they took me in.
“I also have to say ‘thank you’ to my family and my partner, Jess. They’ve been with me all the way, as emotionally I’ve dealt with the highs and the lows of professional sport, and I would not be able to do it without them.”