London — South African scrumhalf Nic Groom is to return home to play for Super Rugby franchise the Lions after ending a two-year stay with Premiership outfit Northampton Saints, the English club announced on Tuesday. The 28-year-old, who scored seven tries in 51 appearances for Saints, will join the Lions immediately. Groom leaves a club that has had a turbulent season, with long-time director of rugby Jim Mallinder being sacked in December as the team’s fortunes on the pitch plummeted. "I have loved the opportunity to come over to the UK and play for such a great club in Northampton Saints," said Groom, who joined from the Stormers in 2016. "But the time has come for me to return to SA. "An opportunity has come up to return home, and I am grateful to the club for allowing me to head back early to try and make my mark. I leave Northampton a better man with a heavy heart, but I have no doubt the club will be flying in no time." Saints interim head coach Alan Dickens said Groom had le...

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