Boyd so pleased with his Saints coaching appointments

Chris Boyd has been a big hit at Saints
Chris Boyd has been a big hit at Saints

Director of rugby Chris Boyd says the coaching appointments he made at Saints last year are up there with the best choices he has made since agreeing to move to Northampton.

Boyd took time to assess which men he wanted by his side for when he arrived from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes last summer.

He eventually decided on a team that would be made up of Alan Dickens, as defence coach, Sam Vesty, as attack coach, Phil Dowson, as forwards coach, and Matt Ferguson, as assistant coach.

And the group of men he assembled to run the team worked well, helping Saints to secure a fourth-placed finish in the Gallagher Premiership.

They eventually lost in the play-off semi-final at Exeter Chiefs, but Saints were able to claim some long-awaited silverware, in the Premiership Rugby Cup, and reached the quarter-finals in the European Challenge Cup.

It was a successful season all in all, and Boyd credits his coaches for helping him to achieve such a strong start to life at Franklin's Gardens.

“I’d initially been advised by a couple of people that it might be a good idea to get a couple of foreign coaches in," Boyd explained.

“But when I met the people up here it was a pretty easy decision to make that I was going to put my weight behind developing some young English coaches and giving them an opportunity.

“I see that being part of my role as director of rugby at Northampton Saints, and I really enjoy coach development – so nothing would please me more when I’m finished here and waddle off into the sunset than if those existing boys were to carry on.

“One of the best choices I made was appointing Phil, Sam, Alan and Matt and they’ve got plenty to give to this club.”

Boyd signed a three-year deal at Saints, and the 61-year-old has become a popular figure at the club.

But when he does eventually decide to leave, he would love to think his current coaches could step up to fill the void.

“If you’re solid with your decision-making you can have a long and fruitful career," Boyd said.

“And my aim for all four of these guys is to give them a really good foundation and springboard to whatever they want to do, but hopefully that will be at Saints.

“I’d love it if in 10 years’ time all four of them were coaching a very successful Northampton Saints team.

“Is that going to happen? Not definitely because people do move on. But it’s certainly what I’d like to see happen and it would be a big victory.”