'Not too many spots to fill' as Saints continue their recruitment

Alan Gaffney is having his say on recruitment at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Alan Gaffney is having his say on recruitment at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Alan Gaffney says there are 'not too many spots to fill' at Saints as the club continues its recruitment ahead of next season.

Wallabies wing Taqele Naiyaravoro became the latest man to sign on at Northampton earlier this week.

Naiyaravoro will move to Franklin's Gardens from NSW Waratahs this summer, which is when new Saints boss Chris Boyd arrives from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes.

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is another man who will be making the move to Northampton.

Biggar was signed before the departure of director of rugby Jim Mallinder back in December, while Naiyaravoro put pen to paper after.

So how much of an impact is Gaffney, who joined in January as technical coaching consultant on a deal until the end of the season, having on recruitment?

"I put my thoughts in, but it's really handled by the coaches who were already here," Gaffney said.

"I can advise about people I know and I've seen Taqele play for quite a number of years so I can advise.

"But the coaches here knew who he was - he played against Saints for Glasgow (in November 2015) so they're aware of who he is.

"Once upon a time, it was a person sending you 20 clips of what he's done and you never really got any bad clips, you just got the good ones.

"But now you've got the ability to look at any game over the past couple of years so we can see players in any game we want."

Boyd is currently preparing for the start of the new Super Rugby season.

But Gaffney says Saints' future boss is keeping in touch with events at the Gardens from afar.

"I've had a couple of conversations with Chris and he'll probably be over in March for a week when the Hurricanes have got a bye," the Australian said.

"He's keen to sit down and have a chat with me and the other coaches to find out where we want to be.

"It's a bit difficult at the moment as far as recruitment's concerned because Chris is a long way away.

"It's being handled through (team manager) Paul Shields here at the present time so Dorian (West) will do things, Dicko (Alan Dickens) will do things, I'll do things.

"We're trying to keep it through the one person at the present time.

"Chris is finding out where we're at, who we've got contracted, what we need in terms of English-qualified players, where we are with budgets and that sort of thing.

"He's aware of all that information.

"We haven't got unlimited money at this point in time, there's not too many spots to fill but we're just hoping we can fill them in the near future."