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Ian Hunter
  • Played155


Years: 1988-1998
England caps: 7
British & Irish Lions tours: New Zealand 1993

Ian Hunter is one of just 15 Northampton Saints players to have played more than 150 matches for the Club, while also representing England and the British & Irish Lions at international level.

Able to play either on the wing or at fullback, Hunter made his Saints debut in 1988 having made the move to Franklin’s Gardens from Nottingham, becoming Saint #1582 and going onto make 155 appearances in Black, Green and Gold.

Over the next decade, Hunter scored 44 tries for Saints, kicking a further 73 points for a Northampton total of 268. It was a period of change for the Club at the dawn of professionalism, but alongside a raft of talented young players including Paul Grayson, Matt Dawson, Tim Rodber, Nick Beal, Martin Bayfield, and Gregor Townsend, Hunter’s contributions ensured Saints remained at the pinnacle of English rugby.

After snubbing an approach to switch codes to Rugby League, Hunter’s first England cap came against Canada in 1992. He scored twice in a 26-13 win, becoming the first player to score a try in a rugby international at Wembley Stadium in the process.

Hunter picked up six more caps throughout his career, and played twice at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, with another career highlight coming in 1993 when he was selected to tour New Zealand with the Lions.

Unfortunately, his tour was over almost as soon as it begun as he dislocated his shoulder in the opening game against North Auckland, and were it not for a series of shoulder injuries which followed, no doubt Hunter would have racked up a lot more appearances for both Club and country.

Since retiring, Hunter has continued to keep a close link with Northampton Saints as a part-time summariser for the Club’s matches on BBC Radio Northampton.

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