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Saints Under-18s to take to the Gardens in 2023

Northampton Saints’ Under-18s side have confirmed their schedule for the remainder of the 2022/23 Premiership Rugby Academy League season – and the young side are set for an appearance at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens at the end of January.

Will Parkin’s side will take to Saints’ hallowed home turf immediately after the first team’s Heineken Champions Cup clash against Stade Rochelais on Saturday 21 January, with kick-off set for 3.30pm.

Saints Under-18s kicked-off their campaign back in August, just losing out against Leicester Tigers as the East Midlands Derby ended 27-24, but they soon bounced back with a resounding 52-14 win over Yorkshire Academy.

Those early results saw Northampton enter the break third in the competition’s Northern Conference, but with everything still to play for as the fixtures get back underway at the start of 2023 – and just two points separating Saints’ youngsters from the top of the table – Parkin says his side are determined to turn their hard work into results on the pitch.

He said: “The break has been a really productive one for us, lots of the lads have had some really important involvements with their schools, where others have had the invaluable experience of training with the first team.

Henry Pollock and Archie McParland both made their senior Saints debuts in the Premiership Rugby Cup, and became the two youngest Saints of the professional era in the process.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for both them and the Club as a whole, and I was also delighted to see Henry, Archie, and Toby Cousins touring with England Under-18s in South Africa too.”

Restarting the Academy League in January, Saints host three back-to-back home matches against Sale Sharks (8 January), Midlands West (14 January) and Midlands Central (21 January) – with the latter taking place on the stadium pitch following the Club’s match against the current European Champions.

Finally, Northampton travel to Newcastle Falcons for the last game of the regular season on 11 February, before Finals Day takes place the following weekend.

“Following up the first team’s European clash is going to be a special experience,” Parkin continued. “I know the lads are very excited about the prospect of running out in front of a packed-out cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens – it would be great to see a big crowd stay to cheer them on!

“It will be great to have Henry, Archie & Toby back in the squad who were all away with England U18s throughout the first two rounds – I'm looking forward to seeing them contribute to the team.

“Those early games have given us a lot to look at and work on now we’re back in as a squad; we need to hit the ground running against Sale Sharks first up and keep that momentum going, particularly through those back-to-back home games.

“While the focus for this age-group is more on development than silverware, I know that a lot of the group still have their sights set on going one better this term than last [when Saints were beaten in the Final] and getting their hands on that trophy, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well they can kick on with that as the unofficial end-goal.”

Saints Under-18s’ Academy League schedule

  • Sunday 8 January – Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks (kick-off: 1pm) – cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, Pitch 2
  • Saturday 14 January – Northampton Saints vs Midlands West Academy (kick-off: 1pm) – cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, Pitch 2
  • Saturday 21 January – Northampton Saints vs Midlands Central Academy (kick-off: 3.30pm) – cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, Stadium Pitch
  • Saturday 11 February – Newcastle Falcons vs Northampton Saints (kick-off: 2pm) – Kingston Park
  • 18/19 February – Finals Day

All of Northampton Saints Under-18s’ fixtures and results can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

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