Northampton Saints sign Joel Hodgson from Newcastle Falcons

Premiership champions Northampton Saints have signed half-back Joel Hodgson from Newcastle Falcons.

He featured 10 times in the Premiership last season, mainly at fly-half, but is joining Saints to play scrum-half.

The 21-year-old Falcons academy product will compete with Kahn Fotuali'i and Lee Dickson for the number nine shirt at Franklin's Gardens.

"Leaving Kingston Park and the friends and supporters I have at the Falcons will be a wrench for me," he said.

"But I believe that the move to Northampton is in the best interests of my long-term career."

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder added: "We certainly view Joel as a player who has a lot of potential and we're looking forward to seeing him develop at Franklin's Gardens."