Diggin signs new deal with Saints

Pictures by Linda Dawson
Pictures by Linda Dawson

Northampton Saints today announced that Paul Diggin has signed a new contract to stay at Franklin’s Gardens.

The Northampton-born 27-year-old winger has been at the Saints for his entire professional career, with his debut coming almost eight years to the day before he agreed his latest deal.

Since that outing against Sale Sharks Diggin has gone on to make 138 appearances, including in the 2011 Heineken Cup final, 2010 LV= Cup final, 2009 European Challenge Cup final and 2008 EDF Energy National Trophy final.

The only Saints player to score four tries in a single Heineken Cup match – against Edinburgh in January 2011 – Diggin has crossed the whitewash 59 times for a total of 295 points.

Diggin had no hesitation in signing again.

“I’ve been here a long time now – 10 years next year – and I’m settled here,” he said. “It’s a bit of a cliché but you always want to play for your hometown club and the Saints is a great club to play for. The fans are amazing, we’ve got a great bunch of lads playing here and I don’t think there’s a better club to be at in the Premiership.

“Playing in a Heineken Cup final was brilliant, as was winning the Challenge Cup, and the promotion year was pretty good, too. We learnt a lot and a lot of the structure was put in place for what’s come since.

“Now we’ve got the most competitive squad that I’ve been a part of. It doesn’t matter what your name is, unless you’re performing you won’t be in the team. It drives my standards up and puts pressure on you to perform every week.

“As far as the future’s concerned, we’ve been close for the past couple of years, but I think that we can take the next step and win some major silverware.”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that Diggin is a good player to have in the Saints squad.

“Paul is a wholehearted player who gives a hundred percent for the team on a Saturday,” he said. “He has also shown his qualities on the pitch on many occasions since I’ve been at the club – he reads the game well and knows where the try line is. You can also tell it matters to him that he is representing his hometown club and that is something that is important to have in a squad.”

The Saints also announced that two of the club’s Senior Academy players – scrum-half Ryan Glynn and lock Darryl Dyer – had signed new deals to stay at the club. Glynn has played four times for the Saints first team in Aviva Premiership Rugby and the LV= Cup and is dual registered with Championship outfit Moseley.