Dowson, Vesty and Craig sign new Northampton deals

Northampton Saints director of rugby Phil Dowson
Phil Dowson is in his second full season as Saints director of rugby

Northampton director of rugby Phil Dowson and coaches Sam Vesty and James Craig have extended their contracts with the Premiership club.

Former England flanker Dowson, 42, returned to Saints in 2017 as an assistant coach after finishing his playing career at Worcester.

He was appointed director of rugby to succeed the departing Chris Boyd ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Durations of the new deals for Dowson, Vesty and Craig have not been revealed.

Vesty, 42, also arrived from Worcester, initially as attack coach.

He was promoted to head coach in 2022, while former Saints lock Craig has also extended his deal as line-out and defensive breakdown coach.

Along with scrum and breakdown coach Matt Ferguson and the arrival this summer of rugby league convert Lee Radford as defence coach, it means Saints will have a settled coaching team moving forward.

“When Chris Boyd first came to the club as director of rugby in 2018, we set about appointing a set of young, ambitious and high-potential coaches who we hoped would ultimately lead Saints long term,” said chief executive Mark Darbon.

“Seeing that succession plan come to fruition has been incredibly satisfying, with Phil and Sam moving into their senior roles with great success, James Craig also transitioning from the academy set-up, and Matt Ferguson taking on more responsibility also over the last couple of years in looking after the breakdown as well as our scrum.

“Lee Radford has joined this season and clearly has been a fantastic addition to the coaching group.”

Saints, who made the Premiership semi-finals last season, currently top the table by seven points, having gone on a 10-game winning run which has also taken them through their Champions Cup pool unbeaten.


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