Oundle Rugby’s 2021/22 partnership with Northampton Saints was celebrated at the Heineken Champions Cup at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday 16 January. Oundle pupils held the Big Shirt as the teams ran out, and they relished the opportunity to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Courtney Lawes on his 250th appearance. The U15 players received a framed shirt in recognition of the partnership. Another highlight of the afternoon was the performance of the school’s CCF Marching Band during the half time.

The Saints’ schools partner programme sends coaches to deliver masterclass sessions with players and work alongside staff to upskill and develop the delivery of rugby and fixtures at Oundle.

This year, Piers Francis (Northampton Saints and England) and Emmanuel Iyogun (Northampton Saints) have already been to Oundle to work with pupils.

The partnership between Oundle School and Northampton Saints has grown into an important relationship for both parties. “The students are really receptive to our coaching and the environment being created at the school around rugby is exactly what we want to be involved in and support for the future,” said Ben Lawrence, Community Programme Manager at Northampton Saints.