Northampton Saints Academy players are going to be busy this summer as the club starts 2016/17’s playing programme early.
The action gets underway on Friday, August 12th, with matches against Wasps at under-15, under-16 and under-18 level, all being played at Stowe School.
The Under-18s then head to Dublin for a short tour, playing Leinster Schools on Monday, August 15th and Leinster Clubs on Thursday, August 18th, with both games being played at Donnybrook.
It’s then the turn of the Under-15s and Under-16s to hit the road for a double header away to Worcester Warriors on Friday, August 19th, with the Under-16s then playing against their counterparts from the other northern Academies in a tournament at Warwick School on Tuesday, August 23rd.
Finally it will be a return to home soil for the Under-18s on Wednesday, August 24th, for a match against Newport-Gwent Dragons at 2pm.
Senior Academy coach Mark Hopley says that the summer is an important time for assessing the development of the Saints’ younger players.
“August is a busy period for us, but a productive time at all levels of the Academy, too,” he said. “It is the chance for us to see how players have stepped up from one age group to another and how they respond and learn from their summer training.
“The games are an important part of their development because it is the best way for them to develop, and we’ll be able to gauge how they are progressing compared to other clubs.
“We’ve got some very good and committed Academy staff who will be working hard throughout the summer, and as always we’re indebted to parents for their support during this period, too.”
The Under-18s Premiership Rugby Academies League will continue in 2016/17, with matches played between December and February.