Saints are closing in on a play-off spot in the Gallagher Premiership and chairman John White is looking forward to what is sure to be an emotional afternoon at Franklin's Gardens.
Read John's welcome and more in today's official matchday programme, on sale for £3.50...
Good afternoon and welcome to Franklin’s Gardens for our final home match of the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership season!
Today, we welcome Worcester Warriors and what a game we have in store! Victory will not only bring us one step closer to a top-six finish and qualification for Champions Cup rugby next season, but also would keep our play-off hopes alive for the end of this campaign.
"Please do stick around to come onto the pitch and pay tribute to the players who are leaving the Club at the end of the season."John White, Chairman
We know we have tough opponents in front of us in Worcester however; they secured their league survival last weekend following successive wins over Gloucester and Sale Sharks – so not only are they showing some form, but now with nothing to lose they are also able to play with some freedom. Watching training this week and speaking to some of the players, I’m sure there will be no complacency from Saints today as they are firmly focused on the task at hand.
After the match we will be repeating the end-of-season ceremony we started last year, so please do stick around to come onto the pitch and pay tribute to the players who are leaving the Club at the end of the season. We are presenting a framed shirt to these players, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work in Black, Green and Gold over the years, and to wish them all the very best for the future – whether that is at another Club or in retirement.
In particular I would like to pay tribute to two Club stalwarts in Luther Burrell and Ken Pisi. Luther announced a while back that he would be moving on to pastures new in rugby league, but Ken’s future only became clear this week and he will be missed around Franklin’s Gardens for sure. He’s a wonderful person and was almost ever-present throughout one of the most successful periods of the Club’s history. Ken remains an extremely popular player within our squad, so he departs with our very best wishes.
Also celebrating their last match (at least, in a working capacity) today is our fabled stadium announcer, Geoff Allen. There are not many people in the 139-year history of this Club who have had a bigger impact on the team and supporters than Geoff. I know just how much everyone will miss him on matchdays in the years to come, but he’s earned some time with his family and we wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you – our loyal supporters – for the enormous backing you have given the Club this season."John White, Chairman
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you – our loyal supporters – for the enormous backing you have given the Club this season. Northampton Saints will never take your support for granted and we are very proud to represent you and this great town. I am very much enjoying my second year as Chairman and humbled by the support the Club receives week in, week out. To see the Gardens packed to the rafters makes me very proud to serve you all.
This season seems to have gone by in a flash, but with another just around the corner it seems remiss not to remind you that Season Tickets are still on sale for 2019/20 – our Early Bird prices end at midnight tonight so there really is no better time than the present!
Turning back to today’s game, please get behind the lads one more time and shout yourselves hoarse today. This is a vitally important game in the context of our season, and we’ll need a real team effort from everyone at Franklin’s Gardens to get us over the line.
Let’s hope we’re celebrating a home win at the end of the game. Come on you Saints!