Northampton Saints have announced a strategic partnership with Championship side Bedford Blues to benefit both the clubs.
According to the agreement, Saints' Academy and Senior players will be available to the Blues during the 2020/21 Championship season while young aspiring coaches of Northampton will also be allowed to gain experience in the second tier competition.
“I am delighted to be able to announce Saints’ strategic partnership with a club of the calibre of Bedford Blues,” said Northampton Saints Chief Executive Mark Darbon.
“Like Saints, Bedford has a long and proud history, with close ties to its local community, so we believe it’s a natural fit.”
“The new partnership will be mutually beneficial, aiming to bring greater benefits to players and coaching staff at both clubs, as well as helping both organisations financially.
“We very much see this as a long-term relationship, which we hope could evolve further over time.”
The partnership will also allow coaching panel of Blues to attend sessions with senior coaches of Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens while players from both the clubs will also undergo a joint training session whenever it is possible depending on schedule of both the teams.
“Saints has a long history of producing high quality, homegrown talent and it is fundamentally important that this continues to be the case,” said Saints Director of Rugby Chris Boyd.
“Our new relationship with Bedford ensures that we can continue to develop our best young players by securing them regular Championship game time in a highly-competitive environment.
“Having got to know Mike Rayer and some of the Blues coaches I’m confident that we’re working with excellent people who share a similar philosophy on rugby and I’m excited about what we can do together.”