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First team coaches commit to Saints

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The announcement was made at this evening’s Annual General Meeting, and follows hot on the heels of director of rugby Jim Mallinder’s own new deal, which was announced in June 2014.

West has been forwards coach at Franklin’s Gardens since the summer of 2007, and with Mallinder he has helped steer the team to nine finals in the past seven years, winning the 2014 Aviva Premiership, 2009 and 2014 Amlin Challenge Cup, and 2010 LV= Cup titles. Under his guidance the Saints’ pack has become among the most respected in the Aviva Premiership with a number of forwards also becoming international regulars, including Dylan Hartley, Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes.

King is in his second year at Franklin’s Gardens, having joined the Saints in 2013 after a five-year spell at French giants Clermont Auvergne. As a player King won everything there was to win at club level, and as a coach he helped Clermont win the 2010 Top 14 title. In his first season as backs coach Saints scored more tries than any other team in the Aviva Premiership and reached the final of every competition that the club took part in, winning two of them.

Dickens has steadily risen through the Saints’ coaching ranks. After joining the club in 2008 as a player, Dickens retired in 2010 with Amlin Challenge Cup and LV= Cup winners’ medals in his collection to become the Saints’ Academy manager. He stepped up into the first team coaching ranks in late-2012, and since then he has made the Saints’ defence the tightest in the Aviva Premiership, with the team conceding fewer tries than any other team in the league last season.

Chief executive Allan Robson says that the contracts reflect the belief that the Saints’ management has in maintaining stability among a successful coaching team.

“In a comparatively short time Dorian, Alex and Alan have – working under Jim Mallinder’s leadership – become the most successful group of coaches in the country,” he said. “Not only did we win the Aviva Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup titles last season, but we reached the LV= Cup final and the Aviva ‘A’ League final, too. Not only that, but we scored more tries and conceded fewer tries than any other team in the league.

“One of the underpinning hallmarks of our steady growth and development over the past few years has been a stability throughout the club, and this is reflected in the new contracts we have arranged with all three. And I am confident that all Saints supporters are as excited as me by the prospect of watching the team continue to develop and prosper under their guidance.”

Mallinder says that the coaches have developed an outstanding working relationship, which he is happy to see continue for the foreseeable future.

“Dorian, Alex and Alan have developed an excellent rapport with each other, and with the playing squad, too,” he commented. “They all put in a massive amount of hard work, often behind the scenes, and deserve plenty of credit for what we achieved last season. They bring different areas of expertise and different ideas to the group, and complement each other’s strengths. I’m delighted that they have all agreed to stay at the club.”

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