Framlingham College director of sport handed permanent role at Northampton Saints

Simon Sinclair

Simon Sinclair

Suffolk rugby coach Simon Sinclair will play an increasingly prominent role in the future of the domestic game, after accepting a full-time position at Premiership giants Northampton Saints’ academy.

Sinclair, 35, is leaving his role as director of sport at Framlingham College in July to join the East Midlands club on a permanent basis.

Sinclair has been the Saints’ Elite Player Development Manager, covering the Eastern region, for over a decade and has nurtured and helped develop such talent as current Saints’ star, Mikey Haywood (pictured), former England under-20 skipper Alex Day, who lifted the Junior World Championships with the Red Rose in 2013, England Sevens member Ethan Waddleton and another Saints prospect, Lewis Ludlam.

It will be a big wrench to leave Framlingham, but the opportunity was too big to turn down, according to Sinclair.

“It’s a dream job for me,” admitted Sinclair.

You may also want to watch:

“I have been with Saints for 12 years and to go full time and get the opportunity to have access to top senior coaches, such as Mark Hopley, Paul Diggin and Dusty Hare, is just brilliant.”

Sinclair will continue his good work liaising with schools such as Framlingham and St Joseph’s College, and emphasised the importance of ensuring young prospects are geared for life off from the pitch too.

Most Read

“The relationship between the club and schools is important, understanding from an education point-of-view what the young players require,” added Sinclair.

“Not every player will make it and it’s about engaging in one-to-one discussions and helping these boys build solid foundations for their futures.”

Sinclair’s strong links with the Eastern Counties will continue, despite his new base being in Northampton, and he hopes the conveyor belt of talent that has seen numerous boys from the region represent the Saints at youth level, will continue to roll.

“I am biased, but there is a lot of good in this area, he added.

“People don’t realise that the under-18s Saints squad of 22, selected on Saturdays, regularly features 13 boys from this region.

“That is testament to the coaches, schools and clubs in the Eastern Counties area and we get the cream of the crop coming to Saints.

“Results have not always gone our way at that level but is it about results at this stage.

“Four or five players will go on to get contracts at the club and, at this stage, it’s all about development rather that league performance for a youngster.”

On leaving Framlingham College, Sinclair explained: “I have loved it there and the headmaster has been very supportive to me over the last five years, no doubt.

I will miss the kids, the common room and the whole school environment.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter