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Saints resign front-row duo Waller and Haywood

By RugbyPass
Northampton Saints director of rugby sacked

Northampton Saints have today announced that front-row duo Alex Waller and Mikey Haywood have re-signed with the club.

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With a total of nearly 400 club caps between them, the duo, who graduated from Saints’ Academy, have put pen to paper to extend their time with the Saints.

 

Chief Executive Mark Darbon said that today’s signings are a brilliant advert for the club’s Academy system.

“We’re very happy to have extended the contracts of two more Academy products in Alex and Mikey.

“We not only want to build a world class team but build that with a backbone of home grown talent.

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“It’s a great testament to our Academy system and the two have been a huge part of the club’s success over the years. We’re very happy they have chosen to re-commit to the Saints.”

Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder echoed those sentiments, saying: “It’s been great to have seen the two of them develop into the players they are today.

“Both of them have played a large part in the club’s history so far and no doubt they are to be a big part of the club’s future.

“We’re delighted they’ve chosen to stay at Saints.”

Waller who has signed on until 2021, made his debut in 2009, has over 200 caps for the black, green and gold and holds the record for the most consecutive Aviva Premiership games with his league appearances dating back to the 2011/12 season opener.

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Waller has also experienced international honours, earning two caps with England Saxons before touring New Zealand with the senior England side in summer of 2014 and featuring in a non-capped game against the Barbarians in 2015.

Haywood made his debut alongside Waller, in the opening game of the 2011/12 season against Gloucester and has signed to stay at the club until 2020.

Making his 150th appearance for the Saints on the turn of 2017 against the same side, the 26-year old hooker has not only helped the Saints lift both the Aviva Premiership and European Challenge Cup trophies in 2014 but was also named in the BT Sport Aviva Premiership Dream Team in 2016 before coming out as the side’s top try scorer last season.

Haywood has also experienced his fair share of international success, securing the Six Nations Grand Slam with England Under-20s before reaching the final of the IRB Junior World Championship that same year.

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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