Northampton Saints can today confirm that Alex Waller and Teimana Harrison will co-captain the squad for the 2019/20 season.
The duo share nearly 400 appearances in Black, Green and Gold between them, with Waller also leading Saints last term as they finished fourth in the Gallagher Premiership, reached the knockout stages of the European Challenge Cup, and lifted the Premiership Rugby Cup trophy.
Harrison however also skippered the side on several occasions in 2018/19, and after showing his ability to lead from the front with his hard-hitting, abrasive playing style, Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd admits he had no hesitation in handing over the armband to the England international on a full-time basis.
“Alex and Teimana have played in the same side for eight seasons and their relationship will grow as they lead the squad together.”Chris Boyd, director of rugby
“Teimana leads by example within our group and is respected by absolutely everybody throughout the Club,” he said.
“He skippered the side superbly when called upon last season and I’m delighted to see him embrace this new role; he’s relishing the opportunity and understands the significance of representing this proud rugby community as co-captain of Northampton Saints.
“Alex and Teimana have now played in the same side for eight seasons and I’m sure their relationship will grow even further as they lead the squad together.
“After pretty much ten years in a leadership capacity, Dylan Hartley decided to step away from the captain’s role this year – but he will continue to be a significant and influential member of our group.
“Dylan was responsible for Teimana coming over from New Zealand and pulling on a Northampton jersey in the first place, so I know he’s seriously proud to now hand over this responsibility to him and to help him adapt to the job at hand.”
Saints wrap up their preseason preparations this week, hosting a warm-up match against Leinster Rugby at Franklin’s Gardens on Thursday evening (kick-off 7.30pm) before the Premiership Rugby 7s competition on Friday and Saturday.
The side’s defence of the Premiership Rugby Cup then begins at Sale Sharks the following weekend, before the first competitive XVs match of the season on home soil against Wasps (Saturday 28 September, kick-off 3pm).
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS SQUAD 2019/20
Boyd’s coaching group remains unchanged for the 2019/20 season, with Alan Dickens (defence coach), Sam Vesty (attack coach), Phil Dowson (forwards coach) and Matt Ferguson (assistant/scrum coach) at the helm.
And with his captains now named, the Kiwi has finalised a 58-man squad for the upcoming campaign:
Alex Waller (co-captain)
Francois van Wyk
Michael van Vuuren
Teimana Harrison (co-captain)
* Senior Academy 2018/19
** Injury cover (temporary contract)