Shepherd to join Northampton
London - Versatile Australian back Cameron Shepherd is to join Northampton as a direct replacement for England wing Chris Ashton who is leaving the Premiership side to join London outfit Saracens.
Shepherd has won nine caps for the Wallabies and can also play at fullback as well as providing another option in the goal-kicking ranks.
The 28-year-old is the leading points scorer for the Western Force team and will move to Northampton at the end of the Super Rugby season.
"Cameron is a very talented player who has shown regularly that he has the ability and temperament to compete at the highest level," said Northampton's Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder.
"He has a positive impact for his team's attacking capability but is also solid defensively and under the high ball. His versatility and quality will give us added depth in the back three positions.
Shepherd said: "It's an exciting opportunity for me.
"Jim has got the team playing a great brand of rugby which I believe suits my style of play and to which I think I've got a lot to offer.
"It is definitely going to be a new challenge for me. The Premiership is a tough competition and there are a lot of teams which like to play exciting rugby, especially the Saints.
"You can see that with the quality of player that there is at the club, players like Ben Foden and George Pisi, who are established internationals."