Mar 04, 2016
10 Things to Know About Northampton Saints
All you need to know about Saturday’s opponents, Northampton Saints.
1. Northampton have recently opened their new Barwell Stand to the public. The stand, which increases the stadium's capacity by 2,000, cost £6million and took just five months to build. It is named after former chairman Keith Barwell
2. Northampton Saints has announced the signing of Fijian international prop Campese Ma’afu. The 31-year-old played at Twickenham in the World Cup and for Championship side Nottingham.
3. The Northampton players and staff will embark on a 120 mile round trip to the Allianz Park. It should take two-and-a-half hours assuming there is no traffic.
4. The Saints made Franklin's Gardens its home in the 1880s. Originally known as Melbourne Gardens the site was a popular pleasure garden and leisure hub for the people of Northampton. Its current name was taken from John Franklin, a hotelier who bought the site in 1886.
5. Prop Ron Jacobs has made the most appearances for Northampton in their history. He played 470 times between 1949-66. Paul Grayson has scored a record 2,786 points for the Saints whilst Teddy Cook has scored the most tries (219).
6. Northampton have contributed 19 players to British and Irish Lions squads from Jeff Butterfield in 1955 to Dylan Hartley in 2013 (although Hartley was ultimately suspended for tour). Former Saints coach Sir Ian McGeechan is also regarded as a Lions legend.
7. Since being relegated in 2008, Northampton have won the European Challenge Cup (2009), the Anglo-Welsh Cup (2010) and been the English Premiership Champions (2014).
8. Saracens’ winger Chris Ashton would be facing his former club if not for suspension. He spent four seasons at Franklin’s Gardens making 51 Premiership appearances and scoring 165 points.
9. Edgar Mobbs was the first Northampton player to captain his country but is best remembered for his exploits during World War I. He formed his own battalion, called Mobbs Own, and led his unit into battle by kicking a rugby ball into No Man’s Land.
10. Ben Cohen, Matt Dawson, Steve Thompson and Paul Grayson are the famous Saints who all played a part in England winning the 2003 World Cup.