Saints stand firm over Montpellier target Picamoles

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Northampton Saints have reiterated that Louis Picamoles is still contracted to the Premiership club for a further two years after Montpellier's owner claimed that the France international will return to his homeland.

Montpellier owner Mohed Altrad stated that the Les Bleus back-row has signed a pre-contract agreement to head back to the club where he started his career following France's tour of South Africa next month.

Saints director of rugby stated that Picamoles signed a three-year contract which did not include a get-out case and added there is "no reason" why he would not still be at Franklin's Gardens next season.

And when asked about Altrad's comment, a Northampton spokesman stated to Omnisport on Tuesday: "We've got nothing to add to what we've already said, i.e. that Louis has two more years on his contract."

Altrad told France 3: "We have signed what we call a pre-contract so Louis Picamoles should join us after France's tour.

"It's important for the national team to see France players play in the Top 14."

Picamoles was named Saints players' player of the season, supporters' player of the Season and also won the champagne moment award following an impressive first campaign in England.

The 31-year-old powerhouse was also shortlisted for the Rugby Players' Association players' player of the year award.