Northampton Saints will wear a special-edition Rob Horne t-shirt when they warm-up for their opening Premiership clash against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm this Saturday (3 pm kick-off, live on BT Sport).
The Saints’ matchday squad of 23 will each wear the commemorative t-shirt in honour of Rob Horne, who was forced to retire last season after suffering a career-ending injury.
Each t-shirt will have ‘Horne 13’ emblazoned on the back and details of ‘The Derby’ on the chest – Saints’ Premiership game against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 6 October, which will raise money for the former Saint and Australian international.
“We are very proud to wear the t-shirts in Rob’s honour,” said Piers Francis, who played in the centres with Horne.
“Rob was a brilliant rugby player and an even better bloke; he’s greatly missed around the Gardens by all the players and staff.”
The special edition t-shirts, which are priced at £15 (sizes S – 4XL) with all of the profits being donated to Rob Horne, are available online HERE from today and in the Saints Store at Franklin’s Gardens from Monday.
Saints can also confirm a number of other fundraising activities which will take place at ‘The Derby’.
Saints will donate £5 on behalf of every paying season ticket holder
Supporter facility to donate during match ticket purchase
£1.50 donation from every match day programme sold at ‘The Derby’
Text-to-donate facility and bucket shakes at Twickenham Stadium
Matchday auction across all hospitality areas at Twickenham
Saints are also very pleased to announce that club partner Carlsberg has made a sizeable donation to the Rob Horne fundraising efforts.
Carlsberg is a long-time supporter of Northampton Saints, having partnered with the Club for more than 30 years, and sponsor the Carlsberg Stand at Franklin’s Gardens.
“Carlsberg recognises the contribution Rob made on and off the pitch,” commented Bruce Ray, Vice President On Trade at Carlsberg.
“As the Carlsberg Players’ Player of the season, we want to support Rob and his aspiration to get greater awareness for Brachial Plexus injuries.
“As a long-term partner of Saints, Carlsberg wanted to support in any way possible.”
Friday, July 06 2018.
Northampton Saints and elite partner Macron have today launched the Club’s brand new home playing kit for the 2018/19 season.
Designed and produced by Italian manufacturer Macron, Saints will run out in the Black, Green and Gold strip for the first time when the 2018 Premiership Rugby 7s tournament gets underway on Friday evening.
Branding from Club partners Toolstation, GRS Group, Kubota, Auto Windscreens, Church’s and Carlsberg all feature across the contemporary design.
"As a jersey, this screams Northampton Saints. We want it to feel special and to wear it with pride."
Macron’s kit is innovative and modern, yet also maintains the Club’s rich heritage with traditional Black, Green and Gold horizontal stripes in a prominent position across the front of the jersey.
The elite playing jersey was created using the latest technology available, providing Northampton’s squad with the utmost freedom of movement whilst they play, and keeping moisture away from the body to keep Saints cool on the pitch.
“It’s got a really nice feel to it and I’m already looking forward to pulling it on this season,” said Saints centre Luther Burrell.
“It fits perfectly, which is really important, and while it’s a light shirt you can tell it’s durable too. As a jersey, this screams Northampton Saints – every time we pull it on, we want it to feel special and to wear the badge with pride, so it’s great that it looks and feels as it does.”
New signing James Haskell added: “It’s really smart, obviously fits really well, and feels really sturdy too which is all you can ask for as a rugby player.”
“It feels amazing. It’s a privilege for me to get my hands on a Saints shirt for the first time and I’ve got to earn the right to wear it now.
As well as the elite playing jersey worn by the Saints matchday squad, a supporter version of the kit is also available from the Saints Store.
A thick-cotton ‘traditional fit’ option of the jersey will also be available this season, with replica jerseys starting at £60 for adults and £45 for juniors.
Northampton Saints’ new home kit will make its debut at the Premiership Rugby 7s and is available to buy today from the SAINTS STORE.
The Club’s 2018/19 training kit launched earlier this month and is also available online and in the Club store.
Northampton Saints can today announce that scrum-half Charlie Davies will be linking up with the Club this summer.
Beginning his professional rugby career at Nottingham in 2007, Davies broke onto the senior stage in 2009 when he signed for Stade Francais.
Moving on to Wasps at the close of that campaign, the 28-year-old made his Premiership debut in 2010 and went on to make 84 appearances for the side before joining Dragons in 2015.
And from there the scrum-half turned out 54 times for the Welsh region after making his debut against Connacht in 2015.
“The decision to join a Club like Northampton Saints was a no-brainer,” Davies said.
“The prospect of working with new director of rugby Chris Boyd, as well as the new coaching set-up, is an exciting one.”
“Saints has a great set-up – the training facilities are top-notch and the stadium is superb. I remember from my time playing in the Premiership that Franklin’s Gardens is formidable place to play, and I’m looking forward to having that support behind me next year.
“I’m excited about joining up with the squad when pre-season starts later this month, and giving a good acco
BEN FODEN TO LEAD OUT SAINTS FOR 250TH AND FINAL APPEARANCE
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018
Northampton Saints legend Ben Foden will lead out the side on his 250th and final appearance for the Club on Saturday afternoon.
The 32-year-old is one of a host of Saints stalwarts that will be pulling on the Black, Green and Gold jersey for the final time as Northampton host Worcester Warriors at Franklin’s Gardens.
Final league positions will be on the line so Saints – who have beaten Warriors on three of the previous four meetings between the sides – have plenty of pride at stake in front of what will be a bumper Gardens crowd.
Interim head coach Alan Dickens and technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney have made four changes from the side that ran Aviva Premiership semi-finalists Wasps so close last time out.
Foden skippers the team at fullback after shifting from the wing, with Tom Collins brought into the Saints’ starting XV for the first time since January to make his 50th appearance for the Club.
George North remains on the other wing, but there are two further changes to Northampton’s back line as Nafi Tuitavake and James Grayson both start at outside centre and fly-half respectively.
But in the pack there is only one change; Kieran Brookes makes his final appearance for the Club at tighthead prop, packing down with Alex Waller and Mikey Haywood in the front row.
Stephen Myler, Campese Ma’afu and Charlie Clare will all also run out at Franklin’s Gardens for the final time in a Saints jersey, and will look to make an impact off the bench alongside the likes of Ahsee Tuala, Alex Mitchell, and David Ribbans – who returns from injury to join the replacements.
“I’ve seen these players as both a teammate and a coach and they’ve served Saints brilliantly in what is probably the most successful period in the history of the Club,” said Dickens.
“The motivation to send the guys out on a high note has to come from within the players and we’ve spoken about that this week – hopefully we put on a performance to match the occasion.”
Tickets for Saints’ final clash of the season against Worcester Warriors are still available from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by CLICKING HERE or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000. Prices start at £36 for adults and £16 for juniors.
And the former England Under-20s international is delighted to be making the short trip across the East Midlands to link up with Saints.
“I’m really relishing a new challenge at Franklin’s Gardens,” said the 25-year-old.
“Chris Boyd’s appointment was key to my decision and it seems to have generated a lot of positive energy at Saints. It’s obvious that there’s a huge focus on putting things right for next year and challenging for honours – I can’t wait to play my part.
“I know just how electric the atmosphere is at Franklin’s Gardens and how passionate the supporters are having played against Saints on several occasions – I hope I can do those supporters proud wearing Black, Green and Gold.”
A sporting all-rounder in his youth, Barrow was initially part of both Barnsley and Manchester United’s football academies, as well as running cross-country to a high level.
But having focused on rugby and captained England’s Under-16 and Under-18 age groups, Barrow made his senior debut for Yorkshire in the 2010/11 European Challenge Cup.
Standing at 6’ 8”, Barrow naturally impressed, joining England’s Under-20s set-up in 2013 and winning the IRB Junior World Championship title with the squad later that year.
That paved the way for a breakthrough move to Newcastle Falcons in the summer of 2013, before he joined Leicester Tigers two years later, making over 50 appearances to date.
And Saints’ interim head coach Alan Dickens believes that Barrow will be another superb addition to Saints’ second-row options for next season.
He said: “Dom offers a lot around the park as well as in the lineout, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Franklin’s Gardens.
“Even though he’s only 25, he’s already proven his huge talent at the highest level on a rugby pitch.
“Dom’s got a lot of rugby in him as well as international aspirations, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can add to our game next year.”
#ONOJAIFE, CLARE, BEESLEY AND ESTELLES TO LEAVE SAINTS#
Northampton Saints can today confirm that quartet Jordan Onojaife, Charlie Clare, Matt Beesley and Juan Pablo Estelles will leave the Club at the end of this season.
All four players have won caps for the first team at Franklin’s Gardens, as well as being heavily involved as Saints have excelled in the Premiership Rugby A League – claiming the title last season.
“All four players have been immensely committed to Saints throughout their time at Franklin’s Gardens, and the Club would like to thank them for all they’ve done here,” said interim head coach Alan Dickens.
“They all remain completely professional and are fully committed to their training so that the squad can end this season on a high note.”
Lock Onojaife, 22, joined Saints Academy in 2011, and went on to feature for both England’s Under-18s and Under-20s before making his senior debut in Black, Green and Gold in 2015.
Joining Saints at the beginning of the 2016/17 season after stints with Leicester Tigers’ Academy, Nottingham, Loughborough Students, Jersey and Bedford Blues, 26-year-old hooker Clare has made 18 appearances in a Northampton shirt since making his debut against Bath Rugby.
Beesley, 25, first linked up with Saints at the end of the 2015/16 season – featuring for the Wanderers before signing on fully at the beginning of the following campaign.
And making the journey to Franklin’s Gardens via Rio after featuring for Argentina’s Sevens side during the 2016 Olympics, Estelles made his Saints debut in November that year. The 29-year-old has gone on to don the Black, Green and Gold another 14 times, crossing the whitewash twice for the first team.
“We wish them all the best for the future,” added Dickens.
Andy Symons will join Saints next Season. He joined Gloucester Rugby from Worcester Warriors in the summer of 2016.
The 24-year-old joined the Warriors in November 2013 and counts Leicester Tigers, Doncaster Knights and Tasman Makos amongst his former clubs. During his time with Worcester, he made more than 50 senior appearances for them.
Symons, who comes from Hertfordshire, first started playing for Saracens Amateurs and Old Albanians before training with the Saracens Academy.
He then moved to New Zealand where he was coached by ex Leicester Tigers’ Head Coach, Aaron Mauger, at Christchurch club High School Old Boys.
He suffered an injury-disrupted first season at Kingsholm as he was restricted to 8 appearances.
The Club is taking every measure possible to ensure that this weekend’s fixture with Sale Sharks goes ahead as planned. The Franklin’s Gardens pitch has been covered all week by the groundstaff and local company Sports & Stadia Services, with a hot-air dome keeping the playing surface from being damaged by the below freezing temperatures.
In addition, the Club’s stadium staff have been working overtime to ensure the ground is fit to host a 15,000-strong crowd for the game. Car Parks A, B, C, and D and the Supporters Village have all been gritted every day this week and will continue to be treated until Saturday, as will the gangways around the ground.
Meanwhile, Northampton Borough Council will continue to grit the roads surrounding Franklin’s Gardens which provide access to the stadium, and the Club has booked a snow plough for Friday and Saturday to clear any obstructed car parks or gangways. Moreover, the club’s groundstaff have been provided with an extra tractor and trailer to facilitate the snow clearing effort, as well as extra shovels, and extra staff have been recruited to help out at the Gardens on Saturday morning. The shop and ticket office will be open from 9am as usual on gameday, while the Supporters Village, Stadium and Bars will open at 1pm in time for the 3pm kick-off (please note that unlike most matchdays the Village is not opening early, but at the same time as the rest of the stadium to give staff more time to undertake any necessary work).
So, for all supporters travelling from both Northampton and Sale, please assume it’s business as usual at the Gardens on Saturday – but also check our website and social media channels on the morning of the match for regular updates!
Northampton Saints can today confirm Chris Boyd as the Club’s new Director of Rugby.
The 59-year-old Kiwi has agreed a three-year deal and will begin his new role at Franklin’s Gardens at the start of August 2018.
Boyd has coached the Wellington-based Hurricanes since the 2015 campaign, guiding the New Zealand franchise to their first-ever Super Rugby title the following year. He also has experience with South African franchise Sharks – working as an assistant coach in Durban from 2009 to 2010 – and coached the ‘Baby Blacks’, New Zealand’s under-20s side, between 2011 and 2014.
Boyd was also an assistant coach during Tonga’s 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign when the Pacific island nation famously beat France – the eventual losing finalists – for the first time.
“We are absolutely delighted Chris has accepted our offer to join the club,” said Northampton Saints CEO Mark Darbon.
“The club conducted an extensive search and Chris stood out as the exceptional candidate.
“We said at the start of the process that we were looking for a world-class director of Rugby, and we’ve secured one of the very best.
“Chris’ CV speaks for itself; his achievements in Super Rugby are notable and his experience with the New Zealand age group sides is impressive. His track record of building a championship-winning side with a mix of experienced and young players was exactly what we were looking for.
“His teams play attacking rugby and Chris is well known as a deep thinker with an immense rugby brain who communicates well with his players. We look forward to him taking charge later this year.”
Boyd’s Super Rugby record now stands at 43-11 in three seasons and, impressively, his side did not concede a single try in the 2016 playoffs. They made the semi-finals again in 2017, but with the call then coming from Northampton, Boyd admits he is relishing taking on a new challenge at Franklin’s Gardens.
“I am humbled and excited to be joining Saints,” he said. “Northampton Saints is a Club I have admired all of my coaching career.
“I visited Franklin’s Gardens for a week in 2004 when Wayne Smith was head coach, and remember the passion of the Saints supporters and the strong culture at the Club.
“Franklin’s Gardens is an excellent stadium with first-class facilities, and when John White and Mark Darbon outlined the vision for Saints, it was a project I very much wanted to be part of.
“The Club’s ambitions match my own – I am confident I can help the Saints become one of the biggest and best teams in Europe.
“I have always aspired to coach in the Aviva Premiership and I am relishing the opportunity to work with this talented squad of players.”
The Kiwi has been coaching continuously for over 30 years and is one of the most experienced head coaches in world rugby. He began his career with nine years at Tawa Rugby Club before progressing from second XV coach to assistant coach at hometown club Wellington Lions, ultimately getting the top job in 2011 after his stint with the Sharks.
He steered Wellington to the 2013 Mitre 10 Cup final, but it has been his work with the Hurricanes since 2015 that has really thrust him into the limelight. Boyd so nearly completed a fairy-tale first season with the franchise – his side narrowly losing out to the Highlanders in the Super Rugby final after topping the regular-season table.
But despite losing the likes of Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Jeremy Thrush, the Hurricanes went all the way to the Super Rugby title the following season, with Boyd’s side – captained by Dane Coles and boasting World Cup winners TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea – romping to a 20–3 triumph over the Lions in the final.
“Chris has an impressive record as a coach and getting him over to Northampton is a massive statement for the Club and confirmation of our determination to compete at the highest level,” added Saints Chairman John White.
“I know I am speaking for everyone at Saints when I say that we are very much looking forward to working with him when he arrives ahead of next season.”
CHRIS BOYD’S COACHING CAREER
Hurricanes: Head Coach (2015 to present – Super Rugby runners-up 2015, Champions 2016 & semi-finalists 2017)
New Zealand Rugby Union: Under-20s Head Coach (2013 – 2014)
New Zealand Rugby Union: Under-20s Assistant Coach (2011 – 2012)
Wellington Lions: Head Coach (2011 – 2014)
Tonga Rugby Union: Assistant Coach (2011 Rugby World Cup)
International Rugby Academy of New Zealand: Coaching Services Advisor (2006 – 2016)
Sharks: Assistant Coach (2009 – 2010)
New Zealand Academy of Sport: High-Performance Coach advisor (2007 – 2008)