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Lewis Ludlam is Northampton Saints' captain
Lewis Ludlam is Northampton Saints' captain

Ludlam retains Saints captaincy for 2022/23

Lewis Ludlam will continue in his role as Club Captain for Northampton Saints for the 2022/23 season.

The 26-year-old England flanker led the men in Black, Green and Gold to the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals last term courtesy of a fourth-place finish in the league standings. Ludlam also brought up a century of appearances for Saints in a season in which he led the side 22 times and scored four tries for Northampton.

A product of the Club’s Academy system, Ludlam was named skipper in a solo capacity for the first time last season, and Director of Rugby Phil Dowson had no hesitation in asking the industrious back row to continue.

“We thought Lewis did an excellent job as captain last year, ably assisted by so many others within the squad,” he said. “We’re blessed to have Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar – captains of their countries – here, as well as the likes of Fraser Dingwall, Dave Ribbans and Alex Coles whose leadership was superb last season.

“But Luds was outstanding in what was his first season on his own in the role. First and foremost, he’s always a big driver of energy for us. His aggressive and dynamic style of play means people want to follow him, but that’s also mirrored in his leadership off the field.

“He’ll be the last one back into the changing rooms after a match because he stays back for every photo and every autograph that our supporters ask of him – he wants to make sure everyone leaves cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens having had a good time.”

Phil Dowson, Director of Rugby

“Within the group, he’s happy to allow the space for people with a tactical mindset to provide any insight necessary to help the team, which is a characteristic you need.

“Clearly being the captain is not just about what you do on a matchday; it’s also about what you do in the week – coming to the coaches to ask for clarity on anything or suggesting new ideas, it’s really important to have an open dialogue to drive the group forward, which we have with Lewis.”

Ludlam is the 65th captain of Northampton Saints since the Club’s inception in 1880. As well as making 101 appearances in Black, Green and Gold to date, the flanker has amassed 14 caps for England – successfully touring Australia this summer with the Red Rose.

After bursting into the spotlight during the 2018/19 campaign to become a first-team regular, the Ipswich-born back row earned his first international call-up in the summer of 2019 and went on to feature at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

While he will be unavailable for selection until Round 3 of this season’s Gallagher Premiership due to the mandatory rest period for England’s players after the summer tour, Ludlam is determined to lead Saints from the front again this season and reward Northampton’s coaches for placing their confidence in him with another string of imperious performances in 2022/23.

He said: “With a change in the regime you can never be 100 per cent sure of being asked to do it again, especially with so many great leaders in the squad, but I'm really happy that Dows has trusted me and given me the opportunity again this season.

“I'm buzzing to get started now – I've had some good time off after the summer and now I can't wait to get back to it.”

Lewis Ludlam

“The best thing about doing this job is that it's a new string to my bow. I've still got loads to learn and things I need to work on, but I can focus on getting better as a leader for this group.

“Northampton is my childhood club; I've grown up supporting Saints, and I've seen many great captains before me – the likes of Dylan Hartley, Tom Wood and Alex Waller. So, to be given the opportunity to put my name up with the likes of them, and to be a part of the Club's history, is something I'm really proud of.

“Now, for this group, it's really important that we go out there and actually win some trophies and make sure that we've done something important for the Club.”

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