Saints have four spots still to fill in squad for next season

Chris Boyd says there are still four places up for grabs in next season's Saints squad.

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 11th March 2022, 11:18 am

The club has been working hard on recruitment and retention in recent weeks and months, trying to assemble the group that Phil Dowson, who takes over as director of rugby this summer, wants.

Kiwi centre Matt Proctor was the first player to re-sign after it was announced that Dowson would be taking over from Boyd.

Tom James and Oisin Heffernan have also penned new deals, while new arrivals have been confirmed.

Tom Wood

Italy scrum-half Callum Braley, Australia lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and former Saints prop Ethan Waller will all be making their way to Northampton this summer.

But there is still more work to be done in shaping the squad for next season.

When asked how far away Saints are from having their squad set in stone for the 2022/23 campaign, Boyd said: "Four positions.

"It's a tricky time of the season where you're having to tell some players you're not going to contract them.

"You see in the media that there's a steady stream of announcements of guys who are going to different clubs."

Tom Wood is one player who is definitely out of contract this summer as it stands, but he has a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the majority of the season, if not all of it.

"The decision on Woody will be made by the incoming group under Phil Dowson, so that's work in progress," Boyd said.

"What I've learned since I've come here is that if anyone can do it (get back from injury before the end of the season), Tom Wood can do it.

"He's a unique individual in many ways and he's on something like a 12-week return to play, and 12 weeks is our last round-robin game against Newcastle here.

"He's optimistic he might be able to get back a little bit earlier but it's quite a significant injury.

"But he's very diligent in his recovery, he's a very experienced professional and he's doing all that he can to appear at the Gardens again this year.

"I don't think whether he stays or not will be anything to do with his injury."