Fixtures - Top Bar

Saints supporting young referee development


Northampton Saints is helping develop the next generation of referees in the East of England as part of the club’s commitment to developing rugby union as a whole in the region.

Thirty 16-to-18-year-olds from the Saints’ Developing Player Programme will be receiving referee training as part of the RFU’s Young Officials Programme during the course of the season, with funding also coming from the RFU World Cup Legacy funding stream.

One of the initial nine youngsters to be trained, 16-year-old Josh Bailey, was officiating quickly as assistant referee for one of the Saints’ Under-15 matches against Cardiff last Friday lunchtime.

Academy coach Jon Curry says that encouraging young players to train as referees is important if rugby union is to continue growing as a sport.

“All sports need qualified and experienced officials as much as they need players, especially with a complex sport like rugby union,” he said. “This is why we’ve partnered with the RFU and East Midlands Referees Society to offer training to 30 of our youngsters to encourage them to take a greater interest in the sport.

“We know that the players in the Developing Player Programme understand the basics of rugby and have the fitness to be able to officiate. We also know that competition is fierce for a professional player contract and only a handful of them will have that privilege.

“So having them train up as match officials gives them the opportunity to develop themselves in another area of the game, and give them some better understanding which will help their own approach to how they play rugby, too.”

All areas of the local RFU team have enjoyed supporting Jon Curry in providing another opportunity to for the holistic development of the young people through match officiating,” added John Widdowson, RFU match official development officer. “We will continue to support Jon in identifying and providing opportunities within local clubs and tournaments for the newly qualified young people to hone their skills.”

The Saints Academy provides a range of support for junior clubs and schools throughout the East of England, including the Cascade Coaching programme to develop club and school coaches.

For more information contact Jon Curry by emailing

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…


Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball