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Sleightholme and Tupai commit to Northampton Saints

Saints starlets Ollie Sleightholme and Connor Tupai are the latest duo to commit their futures to Northampton after both signing new deals to remain at the Club.

The pair of Academy graduates have both impressed in the first team so far this season, having followed their fathers’ footsteps to run out at Franklin’s Gardens wearing Black, Green and Gold.

“It was an easy decision to sign on again, as Saints ticks every box for me.”

Connor Tupai

Wing Sleightholme, 20, first linked up with the Club’s Academy seven years ago, and progressed through the ranks to make his full debut last season – taking just 15 seconds to score on his first Gallagher Premiership appearance against Wasps.

That kicked off a superb run of scoring for the fleet-footed winger, with Sleightholme currently boasting 10 tries in just 17 first-team appeances so far. Son of former Saints and England wing Jon, Ollie also boasts international honours having represented England Sevens in the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, and England U20s in 2019 and 2020.

Meanwhile scrum-half Tupai, 20, made his first-team debut in last season’s Premiership Rugby Cup, but has really made his breakthrough this campaign.

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has entrusted the Rotorua-born No.9 in several key Saints clashes this term – including Gallagher Premiership victories over Worcester Warriors and Harlequins, as well as both Champions Cup ties against Leinster.

“Obviously I’m thrilled to be staying with Saints and to be given the opportunity to continue to develop myself as a player,” said Tupai, whose father Paul played three seasons in Northampton’s back row between 2005 and 2008.

“The culture within the squad is incredible, the coaches have a brilliant track record of bringing through young players, and the Club means an awful lot to my family and I – so it was an easy decision to sign on again, as Saints ticks every box for me.”

“It’s such a special feeling to know the Town is behind us every time we run out at Franklin’s Gardens.”

Ollie Sleightholme

Sleightholme added: “I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this squad. We have a really diverse back three and the competition to play is really high – as a young player, you want to be able to prove yourself amongst the most talented guys.

“This group got a taste of winning silverware again last season and now we’re pushing on for more of the same. It’s such a special feeling to know the Town is behind us every time we run out at Franklin’s Gardens, so we want to deliver for them week in, week out.”