Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Lewis Ludlam rubbishes 'frozen out' comments while dropping hint over future

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Amid reports Northampton Saints captain Lewis Ludlam may be leaving Franklin’s Gardens at the end of the season, he sent an emphatic message today saying “I still bleed green.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The England flanker has been out of action since November with an ankle injury, and in that time his side have gone on an unbeaten run in the Investec Champions Cup and the Gallagher Premiership, including a sensational win against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday after being 26-0 down, which has seen them climb to the top of the league ladder.

During that period, plenty of his teammates have signed new deals at the club, but the 28-year-old has not been part of that cohort. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, and with rumours swirling about a move to France ever since the World Cup concluded, the back row took to X recently to say that his commitment to the club has not wavered.

Video Spacer

Joe Simmonds on potential England selection

Video Spacer

Joe Simmonds on potential England selection

This is in response to posts where the 25-cap international felt it was being implied he was being frozen out of the team due to his lack of activity online. However, he said that this was simply because he is out with his injury. He added that he expects to be back in the coming weeks, which will provide a major boost to both Saints director of rugby Phil Dowson and England head coach Steve Borthwick.

With Northampton looking to be in a strong position to compete on a domestic and European front in the second half of the season, Ludlam will be crucial to their campaign. Then again, given the way he plays whenever he dons the white of England or the green, black and yellow of Northampton, there should never have been any question marks over his commitment.

“Been seeing a lot of comments directed to me about my lack of posting implying I’m being “frozen out” from the team,” the flanker wrote online. “Injured at the moment and hoping to be back in the fold next few weeks. I’m still here and grafting everyday, hence staying off socials. I’m with the team every single day and even though I’m not playing remain committed to this team winning. Don’t write me off just yet, I still bleed green.”

While this is a positive for Northampton for the rest of the season, it does not necessarily provide anything concrete over what is over the horizon heading into next season and beyond. An additional comment on his post did however provide a hint as to where his future lies, when he wrote “And I haven’t sold my house.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Nothing is certain, but amid plenty of rumours over where Ludlam will be next season, this may well be a subtle hint that he is staying put.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton

ABBIE WARD: A BUMP IN THE ROAD

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Steelers | Full Match Replay

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

P
Poorfour 5 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.

13 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Seb Blake: From Chinnor to the European champions in one crazy year Seb Blake: From Chinnor to the European champions in one crazy year
Search