Fixtures - Top Bar

Ma’afu desperate to go out with a bang

501181645TM00051_Saracens_v

Northampton Saints had to wait 134 years to claim their first English title but winning trophies is all Salesi Ma’afu has ever known at Franklin’s Gardens.

And the Australian prop insists nothing less than defending his side’s Aviva Premiership Rugby crown will suffice before he prepares to leave the club this summer.

The 32-year-old joined Northampton from Western Force ahead of the 2013-14 season, helping Jim Mallinder’s side to victory in the Premiership and European Challenge Cup.

Despite another successful season in Aviva Premiership Rugby that has seen him help steer Saints on course to secure a home semi-final, Ma’afu will join French giants Toulon ahead of next season.

And while Ma’afu admits he will look back on his time at Northampton fondly regardless of what happens, he is determined to deliver more silverware before he departs.

We were really happy with the win over Saracens and then we’ve had two weeks to recover and look at the game to build on what we did well ahead of this weekend,” he said.

“Obviously winning the title before I leave is my main goal so I want to put in some good performances and finish the year with a trophy and nothing short of that.

“Then otherwise I just want to play alongside all the guys a few more times before I go off to be part of something different.

“I don’t think I can really know just how much Saints have meant to me until about five or ten years after I leave but I’ve enjoyed playing for the club.

“It’s been a great experience and really the word enjoyment is this main one that comes to mind alongside the brilliant success we had last season.”

Ma’afu will be joined at the three-time European champions by fellow Saint Samu Manoa and the prop admits they will be looking to bring the power that has typified Northampton’s pack this season to their new surroundings.

And while Ma’afu insists he made the right decision in turning his back on the Australian national team to join Northampton, he hopes the recent relaxation of selection rules will benefit his native country.

“I’ll soon be sick of the sight of Samu Manoa but it will be nice to have a familiar face there next season and they might be three-time European champions but it will be a new season,” he added.

“Everything will be up for grabs again and though there’s a lot to look forward to, that’s the challenge to get to that level.

“When I made my decision to leave Australia, still being able to play for the national team was not an option but it was still the best decision of my career at that point.

“It’s interesting to see they’ve changed things for whatever reason and I hope it suits them but I’ve got no regrets about what I gave up to come to Northampton.”

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final are selling faster than this time last year so with just two rounds to go, now's the time to click here to book your place at the world's biggest club rugby final.

Latest News

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Reigning champions Saracens have earned a home semi-final against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool…

BARNET, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Chris Ashton of Saracens scores the first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup between Saracens and RC Toulon at Allianz Park on January 21, 2017 in Barnet, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final draw

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

Gloucester Rugby v Bayonne - European Rugby Challenge Cup

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Exeter Chiefs side to face ASM Clermont Auvergne

Whether history repeats itself for Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup only time will tell, but head coach Rob…

Michele Campagnaro scored twice in Exeter Chiefs' 31-19 win over Ulster in Round 5.

Bristol Rugby name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Bristol Rugby round off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a visit to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm KO). Head…

tusipisibri16sb1111

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup visit of unbeaten group leaders Ospreys, club captain Will…

Will Welch

Saracens name team to face Toulon

Saracens have named their side to face Toulon for Saturday’s round six European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 clash at…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks Name Team To Take On Scarlets

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Scarlets in Round Six of the European Rugby Champions Cup at…

willaddisonbatsal1617sb1111

Harlequins team to play Stade Francais

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Stade Francais in Round 6 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

James Horwill

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for…

Maro Itoje missed out on the autumn internationals with a fractured hand.

Tom Arscott statement

Sale Sharks have today issued the following statement on Tom Arscott.  Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom…

BARNET, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Owen Farrell of Saracens and Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on December 10, 2016 in Barnet, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)