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Boyd hoping to build lasting coaching legacy in Northampton

Chris Boyd admits he had some tough choices to make in his opening weeks as Northampton Saints director of rugby a little over 12 months ago.

But the 61-year-old Kiwi is adamant his decision to stick with a homegrown coaching group was one of his most successful opening moves at Franklin’s Gardens – with one eye already on the legacy he leaves behind in Northampton.

The men in Black, Green and Gold reached the Gallagher Premiership play-offs, the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup, and lifted the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2018/19, marking an impressive first season at the helm for the former Hurricanes boss.

"Nothing would please me more when I’m finished here and waddle off into the sunset than if those existing boys were to carry on."

Chris Boyd

But Boyd is quick to highlight the impact of his widely acclaimed coaching team of Sam Vesty, Alan Dickens, Phil Dowson and Matt Ferguson, and is confident the quartet have the potential to remain with Saints long after he has hung up his whistle.

“I’d been advised by a couple of people that it might be a good idea to get a couple of foreign coaches in,” Boyd told The Rugby Paper last week. 

“But when I met the people up here it was a pretty easy decision to make that I was going to put my weight behind developing some young English coaches and giving them an opportunity.

“I see that being part of my role as director of rugby at Northampton Saints, and I really enjoy coach development – so nothing would please me more when I’m finished here and waddle off into the sunset than if those existing boys were to carry on.

“One of the best choices I made was appointing Phil, Sam, Alan and Matt and they’ve got plenty to give to this club.”

Boyd’s side have completed their first block of preseason training ahead of the new season getting underway in September.

And while his focus is firmly on continuing Northampton’s upward trajectory in the short term, Boyd hopes his faith in his coaches will pay dividends with more success for Saints in the long-run.

He added: “If you’re solid with your decision-making you can have a long and fruitful career. 

“And my aim for all four of these guys is to give them a really good foundation and springboard to whatever they want to do, but hopefully that will be at Saints. 

“I’d love it if in ten years’ time all four of them were coaching a very successful Northampton Saints team.

“Is that going to happen? Not definitely because people do move on. But it’s certainly what I’d like to see happen and it would be a big victory.”