Northampton Saints: Alex King proud of youth in LV= Cup win

Alex King
King has been backs coach at Northampton since January 2013

Northampton coach Alex King has paid tribute to the club's academy after their youngsters helped them to a 37-23 win over Newcastle in the LV= Cup.

Saints have reached three finals in the competition in the last five seasons, losing last year's showpiece to Exeter.

King told BBC Radio Northampton: "Fourteen out of the 23 have come out of the academy and all the points were scored by guys who've come through it.

"It's a real testament to what's been going on behind the scenes."

He added: "You need to be able to trust the guy next to you and a lot of these guys live in the same houses. The best teams are the ones that grow up together."

The squad included director of rugby Jim Mallinder's son Harry, as well as ex-Saints wing Frank Packman's son Howard.

Tom Collins, 20, scored two tries in the win at Franklin's Gardens, and King says his performance was exemplary of the work being done by their young players.

"Tom works incredibly hard at his game," said King. "He's a natural athlete who's got pace to burn, but he works at all the basics. He stays after training and does all his add-ons.

"It's fantastic when you see second-generation players coming through. It must be fantastic for Jim to see his son pull on that famous Saints jersey. Guys who've represented the club in the past are seeing their sons represent the club in the present.

"They get this chance and I couldn't be more proud of all the players today."

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