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Blues pivot Francis returning to England

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/03/2017

Blues utility back Piers Francis will return to his native England later this year after a signing a contract with Northampton.

Kent-born Francis, 26, will end a two-season Super Rugby stint with the Blues at the end of the Super Rugby season, having impressed in the midfield and first five-eighth.

Francis shifted to New Zealand in his late teens and has played NPC rugby for Auckland, Waikato and Counties Manukau.

A reliable goalkicker, he has scored 56 points in 15 Blues appearances.

One of his last games for the Blues could come against the British and Irish Lions, in their second tour match at Eden Park on June 7.

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder says Francis' form in the hotbed of New Zealand rugby hasn't gone unnoticed.

"Piers is a player who has been very impressive over the past couple of years," he said.

"He is a very good playmaker who is comfortable with ball in hand, but who can also control a match with his kicking game, too.

"He has all the talent and temperament that it takes to be a success in the Premiership."

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