It is clear that while the current Saints coaching staff recognise the importance of short-term successes, their emphasis remains on long-term gains.
There might be some growing pains on the journey, but there is a clear philosophy in place at Franklin’s Gardens, instilled by boss Chris Boyd.
The Kiwi arrived from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes during the summer and has since shown a desire to put faith in every member of his squad – young, old and anyone in between.
It has been made clear that if they are good enough, they are old enough.
And though the Premiership is more of a pressure cooker than ever, with little between the side sitting bottom of the table and those on the outskirts of the top four, Saints are determined to develop rather than simply place a focus on the following weekend.
“You’ve either got to worry about the short term and think ‘we’ve got to do everything to win one game’ or you’ve got to take a long-term view and want all of our players to be better rugby players,” explained attack coach Sam Vesty, who was brought to Saints from Worcester by Boyd.
“Over the course of the season, if you take the second attitude you’re going to have 45 better rugby players at the end of the year and be in a better place to win those games in the long term.
“I completely agree that when the league gets tight and you get towards the end of the season, external things can take you away from that development of players and their skills, decision making and all of that, but it’s really important we don’t lose that.
“Boydy puts getting better skills and being better decision makers really high up on the list of what we want to do.”
It appears to be the perfect blend for Saints’ future as they have a group of coaches who are focused on development and a set of players who have an immense amount of natural talent that is just waiting to be fed.
“We’ve got a decent squad and where we’re really strong is that we’ve got a really strong younger group – a development group that in two, three years’ time, we want those guys to be a really big part of Northampton Saints going forward,” Vesty said.
“It’s exciting to see those guys getting opportunities, which is what we’re all about and what Boydy is all about.
“We want to get those guys who are doing well on to the pitch, irrespective of age.
“It’s a great, rewarding part of the job to help someone become the best they can be.
“We’ve got some real talent there and some real desire in that age group.
“It’s really, really exciting.”
Saints have already handed new deals to the likes of Ehren Painter, Lewis Ludlam and James Grayson, emphasising their determination to build their future around their talented Academy graduates.
“I feel like they’re really open to wanting to get better and they put a lot of effort into wanting to be better rugby players,” Vesty said. “That’s all you can ever ask for as a coach.
“That’s probably the reason that really floats my boat: that guys want to get better.
“And when they want to get better, it’s a great, rewarding job.
“I’m really enjoying it.
“I’m enjoying my coaching and it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed my coaching as much as I have since being here.
“Working with Boydy, I’m really learning and getting better again.
“It’s why I’m enjoying it, because I’m learning lots from Boydy and the other coaches. And also the players really want to learn and get better so the environment’s really good.”
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