Martin’s Day

Martin’s Day
Martin “Lol” Hayward

Lol’s funeral, will take place on Friday the 7th December at 11.00am at the Parish Church of the Holy Cross, Milton Malsor, Northampton. NN7 3AJ.

There will then be a private service at the Counties Crematorium Milton Malsor at 12.30.

This will be followed by a Wake at the Thomas ‘A’ Becket pub in St James, Northampton. NN5 5HY. If you are not going to the crematorium then please head straight there after the Church.

Dress standard is rugby shirts, re-enactment costume or traditional suit and tie.

None of us want to think of this as a funeral so I have been asked if we can all refer to this as;


Lol requested no flowers but rather he wanted donations to McMillan and Cynthia Spencer Hospice. (Details to follow)

If you would like to join everybody in celebrating Martin’s Day then it would be helpful if you could just drop a comment here so we can get an idea of numbers. 

Thanks on behalf of his brother Andrew, and his sisters Kate and Jacque.

Coaches – Book early to avoid Disappointment

 Coaches this year are booking fast (with lots of new travellers) which is fantastic news. But there is usually a downside and our 1st coach to Gloucester was oversubscribed and we were inundated with phone calls in the days before the match, requesting seats. Unfortunately, it was too late for us to respond. We can put on extra coaches, but will only do so if we can be sure that we don’t run at a loss (so the odd 5 or so extra seats will not be sufficient).

As an example of how coaches are filling up – we have only 8 seats left for Bristol!!

We have instigated as a trial, a “Wait List” function. While this does not guarantee a seat, it does let you know when seats are available again (drop out or new Coach) and helps us to understand demand and react accordingly from one location rather than relying on a phone call or a piece of paper. If you see that no tickets are available – just register to go on the “Wait List”

So If you want to enjoy the SSC Coach Travel – book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.


Challenge Cup Fixture Dates Announced

The Pool 1 matches in the EPCG challenge Cup have been announced today.

Saints matches are:

Round 1: 13 October Northampton Saints vASM Clermont

Round 2: 19  October  Dragons v Northampton Saints

Round 3: 8 December Northampton Saints v Dragons

Round 4: 5 December Timisoara Saracens v Northampton Saints,

Round 5: 12 January 2019 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints

Round 6: 18 January 2019 Northampton Saints vTimisoara Saracens


Pool 1: Northampton Saints, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Dragons, Timisoara Saracens

Under 18 Squad for SA Announced



Lennox Anyanwu – Harlequins (Christ’s Hospital), George Barton – Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School), Jack Bates – Bristol Bears (SGS Filton), Phil Cokanasiga – London Irish (St Pauls College), Tom Curtis – Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School), Josh Gillespie – Northampton Saints (Millfield School), Josh Hallett – Saracens (New Hall School), Will Haydon-Wood – Newcastle Falcons (Sedbergh School), Louis Lynagh – Harlequins (Hampton School), Callum Pascoe – Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy), Raphael Quirke – Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College), Tom Roebuck – Sale Sharks (Wirral Grammar).


Alfie Barbeary – Wasps (Bloxham School), Harvey Beaton – Saracens (Sutton Valence), Jack Clement – Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College), Harry Dugmore – Harlequins (Whitgift School), George Hammond –  Harlequins (Whitgift School), Jack Hughes – Northampton Saints (Uppingham School), George Martin – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College), Nahum Merigan – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School), Rowan Mullis – Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College), Chunya Munga – London Irish (Leighton Park School), Sam Riley – Harlequins (St George’s Weybridge), Fin Rossiter – London Irish (Wellington College), Archie Smeaton – Yorkshire Carnegie (Hymers College), James Whitcombe – Leicester Tigers (Woodhouse Grove).

Aon U18 International Series fixtures:

Friday, 10 August 2018 (at Boland Landbou)

1.15pm BST – England v France

3pm BST – SA Schools v Wales

Tuesday, 14 August 2018 (at Stellenberg)

1.15pm BST – Wales v England

3pm – SA Schools v France

Saturday, 18 August 2018 (at SACS)

11.15am BST – France vs Wales

1.05pm BST – SA Schools vs England

The Last day of the last Aviva Season

As Aviva bows out as the sponsor for the Premiership in favour of Gallagher, Sarge looks at the possible results

After a very disappointing eight months, the last Saints game of the 2017-2018 season is this Saturday. Franklin’s Gardens at 4 pm is the place to be, with Worcester Warriors as our final opponents. For some reason, BTSport doesn’t think that 9th v 11th is the main attraction this week, so if you can’t get to the ground you will have to tune in to Radio Northampton for the commentary.

Let’s have a look at all the fixtures this week:

Bath v London Irish: Bath is only one place ahead of Saints, but with a 13 point difference we can’t catch them. Irish are already relegated and, unless Bath basically put out an academy side I can’t see anything but a home win at The Rec.

Harlequins v Exeter: The Quins season has been as bad as that of the Saints (the thrashing at Twickenham around Christmas notwithstanding), whilst Exeter have carried last season’s form through and sit comfortably on top of the table. The form book would suggest an away win at the Stoop.

Newcastle v Wasps: 4th plays 3rd and with only 3 points between the teams it will be difficult to predict this one. Which team puts in the greater effort may come down to whether they want to visit Sandy Park or Allianz Park in the semi-finals. If I were a betting man I’d avoid putting money on this as it’s too close to call.

Sale v Leicester: Sale are 7th so will definitely be up for this one to scrape into the Champions Cup next season. Leicester in 5th are not guaranteed Champions Cup rugby yet so will also be wanting to take away the points, but (leaving aside any East Midlands rivalry) I think that this game will go to the Sharks.

Saracens v Gloucester: Sarries are 2nd and have a guaranteed home semi-final; will they rest some players this week in anticipation of the big effort required for the playoffs? Gloucester are 6th but are not yet guaranteed Champions Cup rugby. This ought to be a home win but if Sarries rest too many players there could be a shock if the Cherry & Whites play out of their skins (especially if they wish to erase the nightmare of last week’s game at home to Bath).

Which just leaves Saints v Worcester. After being stuck in 10th spot for several weeks, Saints moved up to 9th courtesy of the 2 bonus points from the game at the Ricoh. Worcester also had a good game last week, the win against Quins putting both of those teams on equal points. If Saints win they stay 9th and provide a good send-off for those players about to leave. Lose and they could end up back in 10th, or even 11th if Quins overcome Exeter.

And for my last picture of the season, how things looked at the north end of FG just three short years ago.

Farewell Ben

The Club issued the following statement today. From the SSC – Thanks for everything Ben we have loved watching you over te last 10 years.




Northampton Saints can today confirm that fullback Ben Foden will be leaving the Club at the end of the 2017/18 season.

The 32-year-old will hope to round off a decade at Franklin’s Gardens in style by making his 250thappearance in Black, Green and Gold in the final game of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

Foden will lead out Northampton on his final appearance as Saints host Worcester Warriors on Saturday.

“I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to represent Northampton Saints almost 250 times,” said Foden.

“I’ve enjoyed some incredible highs at this Club over the last ten years, winning trophies both in this country and across Europe. I want to thank all of the teammates and coaches that I have worked with in that time, as well as wishing everyone that is staying here all the best for the future.

“I’m also so grateful to the Club’s supporters, who have been behind me right from the beginning and made me feel loved every time I ran out at Franklin’s Gardens, and I leave with memories of them that I will cherish forever.

“I still feel fit and hungry for competitive rugby, and while now is the time to move on, I am really excited for what the next chapter holds in store for me.”

After moving to Northampton in 2008 from Sale Sharks where he had already secured a Premiership title, Foden – who began his time at the Club as a scrum-half – soon established himself as one of the best fullbacks in European rugby.

It took him just one year to claim the first piece of silverware of his Saints tenure, lifting the European Challenge Cup in 2009.

He came within a whisker of topping that in 2011 as Northampton’s spectacular run to the Heineken Cup final ended in defeat to Leinster, despite his try in the first half of that epic clash.

But Foden remained a pillar of the side during Northampton’s stellar 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns, scoring in consecutive Premiership finals in 2013 and 2014 against Leicester Tigers and Saracens respectively – becoming only the second player achieve the feat.

He played a remarkable 22 games at fullback during Saints’ double-winning season as Northampton claimed both the Challenge Cup and Premiership titles.

His exploits at Franklin’s Gardens led to a superb international career also, with Foden – who had represented England at all junior age groups and for the Saxons – earning his first cap in 2009 against Italy. In total, Foden played 34 times for the Red Rose scoring seven tries, including two during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

And even after earning his Club cap for 200 appearances in the Black, Green and Gold last term, Foden has pushed on again this season and is in line to represent the Club for the 250th time this weekend.

“Fodes has been a remarkable player for both Northampton Saints and England,” said interim head coach Alan Dickens.

“We’ll miss having him around Franklin’s Gardens, both in terms of what he offers on the pitch as a player and a leader, but also as a character in the dressing room.”

Forwards coach Dorian West added: “Fodes has given the supporters here at Saints many happy memories and I’m sure they will repay him with a huge ovation on Saturday. He has the respect of everyone here and we wish him all the best for his next step.”






The Supporters Club wishes Rob and his family best wishes for the future, and thanks for all he has done for the club since his arrival.

The Club Issued the following statement today 21st April.

 It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints can today confirm that due to an injury sustained in the Club’s fixture against Leicester Tigers, centre Rob Horne has been forced to retire from rugby. 

After undergoing tests, leading neurological consultants from The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (Stanmore) confirmed that Horne has suffered career-ending nerve damage to his right arm.

“This is absolutely tragic news, and has been devastating for every member of the squad and staff here,” said interim head coach Alan Dickens.

“All our thoughts are of course with Rob and his family at this time.

“Rob is not only a world-class rugby player, but he’s an exceptional man. He is a hugely respected and popular member of the dressing room and this will be an enormous loss to Saints – both from a rugby and a personal perspective.

“Even though he had only been here for one season, I am sure he was destined to become a Club legend and, like everyone, I am deeply saddened that his career has been prematurely ended in this way.”

Horne arrived at Franklin’s Gardens last summer after 10 seasons with the Waratahs, where he played in a Super 14 final at the age of just 18 before claiming the Super Rugby title in 2014.The hard-hitting outside centre won 34 caps for the Wallabies, representing Australia in two Rugby World Cups and against the British & Irish Lions in 2013.

The 28-year-old made 21 appearances in the Black, Green and Gold jersey of Saints, scoring eight tries to make him this season’s top-scorer, and led out Northampton against Tigers at Welford Road last weekend for the first time as stand-in skipper. 

“Rob has been the ultimate professional in his time at Franklin’s Gardens, and shone on the pitch in what has been a difficult season for Saints,” commented Saints CEO Mark Darbon.

“This news has shaken everyone at the Club, and I’m sure all of our supporters will join us in sending our best wishes to Rob, his wife Simone and their two young children.

“Rob will always be a part of the Saints family and we will, of course, do everything we can to help him through his rehabilitation and transition in to the next stage of his life.

“On behalf of the Club I would like to thank all the medical staff who have helped Rob so far, in particular the diligence and professionalism shown by the Saints and Tigers medical teams, who reacted quickly and could not have done more for him from the moment his injury was sustained.

“Rob has asked me to pass on his deepest gratitude for all of the messages of support he and his family have received, but would now like everyone to respect his privacy while they deal with this news.”  

Camino de Santiago


On Saturday 25th March we get our own version of the “Camino de Santiago”, as the Saints travel from St James End to St James’ Park for the game against Newcastle Falcons. SSC Coach travellers are reminded that departure is at 10.30am from Franklin’s Gardens; those not making the pilgrimage can catch the action on BTSport1.

St James’ Park is officially known as the Sports Direct Arena these days, though I doubt that anybody in Newcastle uses that name. Home of Newcastle United, the ground becomes a Rugby Union haven this Saturday with Newcastle University v Northumbria University at 3pm ahead of the Falcons v Saints game at 5.15pm. Match tickets cover admission to both games.

After years spent in the bottom half of the table and with the odd relegation, the Falcons currently sit in 4th place, whilst the Saints are bumping along in 10th. Love him or hate him, Dean Richards has finally moulded a winning team since his arrival in the North East in 2012 after serving a ban for Bloodgate. Going to be difficult to predict anything other than a home win for this, but the Saints have sprung a couple of surprises this year – at home to Clermont-Auvergne being the best example.

The Falcons will wear a unique shirt for this game based on the traditional Newcastle United black & white stripes. It’s being done to support ex-player Doddie Weir and his “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation”, which raises funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease.

This week’s picture shows the modern-day logo for the Camino de Santiago (look it up). You can find a variation of it on the Saints badge.