Saints appoint Boyd as director of rugby on three-year deal

Chris Boyd is Saints' new boss (picture: Steve Haag)
Chris Boyd is Saints' new boss (picture: Steve Haag)

Saints' search for their new new-term director of rugby is over after the announced the appointment of Chris Boyd.

The 59-year-old is currently head coach of the Hurricanes, who he guided to their first Super Rugby title in 2016.

Boyd signed a two-year contract extension after that triumph and with that deal ending this summer, he will move to Northampton on a three-year contract from August.

The Kiwi will replace Jim Mallinder, who saw time called on his 10-year tenure as Saints boss in December.

Alan Gaffney was appointed at technical coaching consultant until the end of the season, but he will depart as planned, with Boyd coming in.

“I am humbled and excited to be joining Saints,” Boyd said.

“Northampton Saints is a club I have admired all of my coaching career.

“I visited Franklin’s Gardens for a week in 2004 when Wayne Smith was head coach, and remember the passion of the Saints supporters and the strong culture at the club.

“Franklin’s Gardens is an excellent stadium with first-class facilities, and when(chairman) John White and (chief executive) Mark Darbon outlined the vision for Saints, it was a project I very much wanted to be part of.

“The club’s ambitions match my own – I am confident I can help the Saints become one of the biggest and best teams in Europe.

“I have always aspired to coach in the Aviva Premiership and I am relishing the opportunity to work with this talented squad of players.”

Boyd took the Hurricanes to the Super Rugby final in his first season in charge and went on to steer them to glory a year later, without conceding a try in the play-offs.

They reached the play-off semi-finals in 2017 and Boyd’s Super Rugby record now stands at 43-11 in three seasons.

“Chris has an impressive record as a coach and getting him over to Northampton is a massive statement for the club and confirmation of our determination to compete at the highest level,” said Saints chairman White.

“I know I am speaking for everyone at Saints when I say that we are very much looking forward to working with him when he arrives ahead of next season.”

Boyd has been coaching continuously for over 30 years and is one of the most experienced head coaches in world rugby.

He began his career with nine years at Tawa Rugby Club before progressing from second XV coach to assistant coach at hometown club Wellington Lions, ultimately getting the top job in 2011 after his stint with South African franchise the Sharks.

He coached the ‘Baby Blacks’, New Zealand’s under-20s side, between 2011 and 2014 and was an assistant coach during Tonga’s 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign when the pacific island nation famously beat France – the eventual losing finalists – for the first time.

Boyd steered Wellington to the 2013 Mitre 10 Cup final, but it has been his work with the Hurricanes since 2015 that has really thrust him into the limelight.