It's back to school for Saints as 'fantastic relationship' with NSB continues

CEO Mark Darbon says Saints are looking forward to continuing their 'fantastic relationship' with Northampton School for Boys after starting pre-season training at NSB on Monday.

By Tom Vickers
Monday, 18th July 2022, 3:28 pm

Phil Dowson’s squad began pre-season preparations ahead of the 2022/23 campaign at their temporary new training base.

The black, green and gold have set up camp at NSB until the end of August with work underway on the club’s new training facilities at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

Last week, preparation work began on Saints’ high performance centre, an indoor training field which will be based on the club’s current main training pitch. It is expected to be completed halfway through the 2022/23 season.

Saints started pre-season training at Northampton School for Boys on Monday morning

While the squad’s main training pitch is being repurposed, the club is also midway through an extensive renovation to the second training field at Franklin’s Gardens, which will create a second outdoor surface to replicate the main stadium pitch and compliment the high performance centre.

With the new outdoor training pitch set for completion by the start of September, Dowson and his squad will tackle the first six weeks of preseason at NSB, taking advantage of the school’s training pitches, gym, changing rooms, pool, meeting rooms and canteen.

And Darbon said: "We’ve always had a fantastic relationship with NSB.

“Over 50 Saints first-teamers have come through the school before joining our Senior Academy full-time; NSB have nurtured nine of the current squad, including the likes of Courtney Lawes, Ollie Sleightholme, Tom Collins, and James Grayson.

“Our community coaches also deliver to NSB’s students on a regular basis, with several former players also helping to coach the school’s rugby programme in recent years.

“Their wonderful facilities, coupled with the close proximity to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, meant it was an easy decision for us to relocate to the school for the start of pre-season this year.

“We’re excited to continue to build on the relationship between Saints and NSB this season.”

Richard Bernard, Headmaster at Northampton School for Boys, added: “NSB’s relationship with Saints continues to go from strength to strength, and we are delighted to provide training facilities over the summer period for the team’s use.

“We are very grateful for the extensive and specialised input that the club annually injects into our highly-successful school rugby programme, and we derive great pride from the regular flow of NSB students who are signed into Saints’ first-team squad.

“The players and staff can expect a warm NSB welcome this week, and it will be an inspirational experience for our students to have such a high performing Gallagher Premiership outfit on-site.”

You can view some images from Saints' first pre-season training session here, while their new training kit is now available to order by clicking here.