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Angus Scott-Young to stay at Northampton Saints

By Ian Cameron
Angus Scott-Young of Northampton Saints jumps over Gus Warr during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens on December 30, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Aussie back row Angus Scott-Young has signed a new deal with Northampton Saints ensuring his stay extends beyond the current season.

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The 26-year-old back row who transitioned to the cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens from Queensland Reds before the 2022/23 season has become an integral part of the team.

In just 18 months Scott-Young has accumulated around 40 appearances since his first game in the team’s colors against Sale Sharks. His decision to continue with the Saints a team currently leading the Gallagher Premiership stems from his appreciation for his teammates and the club’s environment.

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Before joining Northampton Scott-Young boasted over 70 appearances for the Reds including a Super Rugby AU championship win in 2021 and 30 caps for Queensland Country. The son of ex-Wallaby Sam Scott-Young also has experience with Bay of Plenty Steamers in New Zealand and represented Australia in the Under-20s Junior World Championships in 2016 and 2017.

“It was a pretty straightforward decision for me to stay at the Club,” said Scott-Young. “I’ve made close friendships with a good number of the guys in the team – it’s a very tight-knit community, which I love being a part of.

“The high-performance environment at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens is also incredible, I hadn’t experienced anything like it before coming to Northampton. We have incredible coaches, world-class training facilities, and some really talented players, so to be in an environment like this is really exciting.

“It’s also been really cool to see the reaction of our supporters towards the collaborations between my clothing brand, ‘Saint Gustaf’, and the Club. I’ve really enjoyed the artistic outlet that the Club has given me, and I’m looking forward to doing some more of that in the future.

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“Moving to England and facing new challenges has helped me grow as a person and opened my eyes to new cultures and new ways of living. On the field, playing in the Premiership has been brilliant for my development; it’s one of, if not the highest, level of club rugby in the world. Every week is a huge challenge which is really enjoyable.

“If you look at the stock Saints have in the back row, the guys I’m competing with for places, they’re almost all at international level. Being around players like that is the best way to ensure you’re upping your game, you learn to appreciate the talent that they have, and learn to take bits from their game.

“Ultimately, iron sharpens iron, and I want to continue to become the best version of myself here at Saints.”

Saints’ Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson, said: “Angus has played a lot of rugby for Saints since arriving in Northampton – he’s tough, he’s durable, he pushes himself all the time and he challenges the group.

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“There’s a lot of edge about Angus on the field. He’s pretty much in every matchday squad, and brings a lot of what we need in terms of being physical and aggressive, getting through a lot of work.

“He’s also very bright, and a big character within the group as he enjoys a bit of fun at the expense of himself and the others. He’s also living with George Hendy and has been a brilliant mentor for him as a young player looking to get better.

“Angus’ attitude towards development is exemplary; he’s very diligent, desperate to succeed, unrelenting and always getting better as a player, which is everything that we want.

“He puts in a shift every single week – in one game earlier this season he made 18 tackles after coming off the bench, which is extraordinary – and so we’re delighted to keep him here in Northampton moving forward.”

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Poorfour 11 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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