Up-and-coming players from Franklin’s Gardens have been building their match experience across the Championship and National Leagues this season.
In all 13 players have been turning out for 10 clubs, putting into practice what they have been learning through the week in training.
In the Championship Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Lewis Ludlam and Jordan Onojaife have been with Moseley, Howard Packman at London Scottish and Sam Olver at Doncaster Knights, with Alex Woolford and Reece Marshall set to turn out for London Welsh and Nottingham respectively.
Meanwhile, in National League One, Rory Hutchinson has been with Coventry, James Fish at Ampthill and Will Allman at Loughborough Students, while in National League Two Alex Moon and George Furbank have turned out for Cambridge. And closer to home Tim Cardall has been representing Old Northamptonians in National League Three Midlands.
Senior Academy coach Mark Hopley says that getting game time under their belt is vital in the development of the club’s youngsters.
“We’re firm believers in the principle that rugby players need to play and not just train,” he said. “Over the past few years we’ve seen the real benefits that this can bring, with plenty of current Saints first teamers having worked their way up the leagues with a variety of clubs first.
“We only have a limited number of Wanderers fixtures this season and no LV= Cup games, so being out on dual registration means that we can work closely with the players during the week, and then they can get out on the playing field at the weekend, testing themselves in new situations against teams they wouldn’t normally come up against.
“This in turn helps develop their game understanding, and we go through their performances in the same way as we do with the first team. It’s a process which helps them as players and ourselves as coaches, too.”