Wilson arrives at Franklin's Gardens after a year spent with French outfit Bourgoin. Predominantly a centre, Wilson has also played fly half and full back in his time both at the Stade Pierre Rajon and at former club, Southland.
Wilson became an Invercargill hero when his drop goal won Southland the Ranfurly Shield with a victory over Canterbury this time last year. It capped an eight-year stay at the province for Wilson, who at 6ft 5in and 93kgs adds an intimidating physical presence to the black, green and gold.
He has experienced Super Rugby with both the Highlanders and Chiefs, but is now looking forward to taking on Heineken Cup and Aviva Premiership rugby with the Saints.
Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder said that Wilson is a good addition to the Saints squad. "James is an experienced player who has shown his abilities on both sides of the world," he commented. "He reads a game well, brings other players around him into the play and has a strong kicking game, too. We have been impressed with what we've seen of him and believe that he will fit into our patterns of play and give us options."
In another development, Saints have confirmed that Cameron Shepherd will not now be joining the club. The 28-year-old Australian had been due to arrive at the club this month having signed a contract several months ago. As is standard practice throughout professional sport the contract was signed subject to a number of conditions, and, on the recommendation of its medical team, the club has decided not to bring Shepherd to Franklin's Gardens.