Lions prop Euan Murray will miss Northampton’s crucial Heineken Cup tie with Perpignan on January 17 due to his religious beliefs.
The Scotland star has stated that he will not play on Sundays, meaning he will not be involved in the Round 5 clash with the French Champions.
Murray’s Christian beliefs have seen him take the decision to leave Sundays as a day of rest and worship.
Saints chairman Keith Barwell has backed Murray’s decision even though victory over Perpignan is crucial if the reigning Amlin Challenge Cup winners hope to make it through to the knockout stages of the Heinkeen Cup.
Murray, who was in impressive form for the Lions before injury ruined his Test chances, will also miss Scotland’s Six Nations opener against France at Murrayfield on February 7.
The 29-year-old has established himself as one of the world’s leading tightheads and his absence will be a big blow for both club and country.