The Perse School

Perse rugby captain thrilled at clinching Northampton Saints deal

16 Mar 2018

Perse 1st XV rugby team captain Alex Coles has earned a full-time contract with top English club Northampton Saints.

The Upper Sixth student is one of just five players in the Saints junior set-up to be awarded a deal with the Aviva Premiership club’s senior academy for the 2018/19 season.

Alex was part of the Northampton U18 side’s unbeaten pre-season campaign and featured in two matches for Wanderers – the club’s second team – in the Aviva A League before injury cut short his season.

The young lock, who has played for England at U18 and U16 level, is delighted to have an opportunity to prove himself at Franklin’s Gardens.

He said: “I’m thrilled to have a one-year contract to play for Northampton next season. It’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time, but there’s a lot of hard work still to come.

“I’ve been with the club for four or five years after one of the Saints coaches saw me playing for The Perse. It all went from there and it’s great to commit myself to the club full-time.

“The club has been really good. I got injured in December and haven’t been able to play a regular season game for Northampton (U18), but they’ve shown their faith in me and I hope I can reward it.

“I’ve been working hard behind the scenes on coming back stronger, so when pre-season starts with Northampton, I’ll be raring to go.”

Alex wants to make the most of his chance to play for Saints and hopes it will lead to a glittering career in professional rugby.

He said: “Earning a full-time contract has always been my goal, so this is step one of my journey and now it’s about setting myself new challenges and kicking on.

“It’s finally becoming real that this could become my profession, so I need to work out how that might fit together with my academic goals, but long-term I want to play for the Northampton first team and maybe even England.”

Alex added that he would love to follow in the footsteps of Saints and England player Courtney Lawes.

He said: “You look at how much he has done for the British & Irish Lions, England and Northampton over the last few years after coming all the way through the Saints academy in the same position I play in. That’s something I aspire to. To go from the academy and become a club legend like him would be awesome.”

Listen to Alex talk more about his hopes for next season and working with the Northampton first team below.

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