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Under-16s get game time to shine

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The recent half-term holiday has given the Saints Academy coaches the chance to run the rule over the club’s Under-16 players in both the Elite Player Development Group and Developing Player Programme.

The Elite Player Development Group (EPDG) players from the East Midlands and Eastern Counties rounded off a day’s training at Franklin’s Gardens with an intra-squad game, while the six Developing Player Programme (DPP) centres each sent a squad to Bedford School on Sunday for a round-robin match event.

As well as the four sub-counties from the East Midlands - Northampton and District Alliance, East Northants, Hunts and Peterborough, and Bedfordshire - squads also headed up the A14 from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk for the day, which was similar in format to that experienced by the younger DPP age groups at Stowe a couple of weeks ago.

“Days like these are important to us as coaches,” says EPDG manager Ross Stewart. “We work hard with the lads in training, but we need to see how they perform in a game situation, against similar standard players who are at the same stage of their development.

“Everyone approached the sessions positively, and we saw some good rugby. We encourage all of our players to play, and will see the benefits in the future.”