Eastern Counties rugby trio snapped up by Northampton Saints on professional deals

Ehren Painter

Ehren Painter - Credit: Archant

The hard work starts here.

Toby Trinder

Toby Trinder - Credit: Archant

That’s the verdict of Northampton Saints academy coach Simon Sinclair, who has just seen a trio of teenagers from Suffolk and Essex he helped nurture, awarded professional contracts with the Premiership giants.

Ehren Painter, Alex Rayment and Toby Trinder have all signed one-year professional deals at Franklin’s Gardens and are three of just five national hopefuls to have made the step up to the senior ranks with Jim Mallinder’s side, from their age group.

Painter is a prop from Felsted School and represents Chelmsford at league level, while Ipswich-born Rayment is a hooker with Royal Hospital School and Bury St Edmunds.

Trinder, who was also born in Ipswich, is another prop, who plays for Framlingham College and Ipswich RUFC.

Alex Rayment

Alex Rayment - Credit: Archant

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The trio are now set to join up with the likes of George North, Courtney Lawes and England captain Dylan Hartley for summer pre-season, ahead of their first full campaign as professionals.

Sinclair, the Saints’ Elite Player Development manager for Eastern Counties, who moves into a full-time role at Northampton’s academy in the summer, expressed his pride at the boys’ progression but predicted a gruelling step-up from the rigours of college and amateur rugby.

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“The hard work starts now and pre-season will be a brutal, punishing step up,” said Sinclair, who is leaving his post as director of sport at Framlingham College to take on a full-time role with the Saints.

“They probably won’t touch the ball in July, which gives you an idea of the kind of strength work they will be doing, but the nice thing about it is the senior boys will take them under their wing.

“They may have to go out and learn their trade in the National League or the Championship and the route to the first-team will be tough, but they all have the potential to play for the first team in the future.

“It’s an exciting time and I am really pleased and proud.”

Meet the Saints’ three new recruits in today’s EADT.

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