Have you ever wondered who would make up the all-time Northampton Saints XV? Well, the Club’s main partner, Travis Perkins, have decided to answer that question once and for all!
After rounding off the voting for the rest of the pack, we move to the linchpin of the scrum and voting is now open to select a No.8. Just fill in the form below to tell us your favourite-ever Saintsman to wear the famous jersey.
Voting will continue over the next few weeks, asking Saints supporters to select their favourite-ever players to don the Black, Green and Gold jersey until we have the ultimate Saints XV.
And for each position, one lucky voter will be selected at random to win one of 15 exclusive ‘WE MARCH ON’ bobble hats up for grabs!
But with over 2,000 Saints to choose from, we’ve narrowed the No.8 category down to these five nominees to help you make your choice:
Tom Harris – #611
Debut: 1923 | 426 apps
With an astonishing 426 caps to his name during a 14-year playing career with Northampton Saints, Harris makes it into the top-five appearance makers in the Club’s history – and given the attritional nature of today’s game, he could well stay there forever. He also represented his country twice, pulling on the England jersey in Five Nations clashes against Scotland and Ireland.
Phil ‘Noddy’ Taylor – #1204
Debut: 1954 | 224 apps
Taylor featured some 224 times in Black, Green and Gold after making his debut in 1954, while teaching history and PE at Northampton School for Boys, as well as representing Travis Perkins, captaining the side during the 1962/63 season. While in Northampton, the No.8 also earned international recognition and made six appearances for the Red Rose, with his last cap coming in an infamous draw with Scotland in 1962.
Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford – #1635
Debut: 1990 | 66 apps
Shelford joined Saints three years after helping New Zealand win the inaugural Rugby World Cup on home soil against France, and his presence – as player and captain – would help shape the way the club played the game in future years. In the short time he was at Franklin’s Gardens, Saints were transformed from a struggling first division club to championship contenders, and Pilkington Cup finalists in 1991.
Pat Lam – #1738
Debut: 1998 | 78 apps
Now head coach of Bristol, Lam left the Gardens an all-time hero in 2001. After spearheading success with Samoa and Newcastle Falcons, Lam arrived in 1998 and his first season saw Saints finish second in the Premiership. But it was the 1999/2000 campaign that would stand out – with Lam handed the captaincy, Northampton came so close to a league, cup and European treble, and in front of nearly 70,000 people at Twickenham they beat Munster to see Lam and Tim Rodber lift the Heineken Cup trophy to create one of the defining images of the Club’s history.
Samu Manoa – #1910
2011-2015 | 121 apps
Manoa was a Saint for just four years, but that was plenty of time to endear himself to the Franklin’s Gardens faithful – winning the Club’s Supporters’ Player of the Year award twice in consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2014. Also devastating at lock, Manoa was a key part of 2013/14’s Premiership and Challenge Cup title wins, and scored an impressive 25 tries as he racked up a century of Saints appearances in a blistering four-season spell in Northampton.
Louis Picamoles – #1967
Debut: 2016 | 20 apps
He may have only graced the Franklin’s Gardens turf for one season, but the Club’s supporters knew they were watching greatness in Picamoles. The France international was a shining light during the 2016/17 campaign, sweeping the Club’s end of season awards, as well as being the only forward shortlisted for the Rugby Players’ Association’s player of the year prize. No other player in the Premiership could match his ball-carrying ballast.
Know who’s got your vote? Just fill in the form below to cast your vote and be entered into the prize draw! And keep your eyes peeled for the final team on our social media channels once the voting is complete...