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Saints appoints new Academy manager

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints has today announced the appointment of Simon Sinclair as the club’s new Academy manager.

Sinclair has been an integral part of the Saints’ Academy system for over a decade, where he has run the Eastern Counties Elite Player Development Group since 2005.

In that time Sinclair has put in place the structure to identify and develop some of the best young players in the country, including a number of World Rugby Under-20 Championship winners and several others who have gone on to establish professional rugby careers. Such players include hooker Mikey Haywood, back rower Lewis Ludlam and centre Rory Hutchinson here at Franklin’s Gardens and a host of others who have gone on to other clubs.

In addition to his work with the Saints, Sinclair was director of sport at Suffolk’s prestigious Framlingham College between 2010 and 2016, when he left to become a full-time member of the Academy’s staff.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Sinclair will be a success in the role.

“We’re delighted to be appointing Simon as our new Academy manager,” he said. “He has been a very important part of the Academy set-up over the past 12 years and has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of both how we work as a club and the clubs and schools throughout our region.

“We had a considerable amount of interest in this role and Simon was chosen ahead of some outstanding candidates. But we believe that he is the right person for us and that he will take the Academy to the next level, building on the great work done by Dusty Hare over the past few years.”

Sinclair says that he is looking forward to the challenges ahead of him.

“We are in a good place as an Academy, but there is plenty of pressure on us to bring through the best young players in the region to become full-time Saints and hopefully internationals, too,” he commented.

“This means that we’re not able to rest on our laurels; we have to keep improving what we do as a club and building relationships with all of the clubs and schools in our area. We want young players to be wanting to join us and reach their potential.

“I’d like to thank Dusty Hare, who has been a great mentor for me over the past seven-and-a-half years. We’ve got an outstanding group of Academy coaches and staff, both here full-time at Franklin’s Gardens and elsewhere throughout the East Midlands and Eastern Counties, and I’m sure that the future is bright for us.”