Northampton Saints hooker Mike Haywood is to take up a coaching position at St Joseph’s College following the announcement of his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the 2022/23 season.
St Jo’s, which brought through current Saints first-team players Lewis Ludlam, Alex Moon, Emmanuel Iyogun and Karl Wilkins, has no doubt he will add huge value to an already impressive coaching team.
Mr Haywood has spoken about his amazing journey with Saints, from playing at Colchester to progressing through the Academy system and joining the first team, with victory in the Premiership and Challenge Cup in 2014 becoming abiding memories.
He has thanked both the club and its supporters for the amazing support they’ve given him, but the time is right for a change and St Jo’s has offered the perfect new challenge.
‘I always wanted ultimately to move back home at the end of my playing career, and the opportunity arose for me at St Joseph’s which felt too good to turn down. I’m really excited to teach there and hopefully develop some great rugby players who enjoy the game as much as I did,’ he said.
Director of Rugby, Mr Winter, responded, ’We are delighted that Mike recognises the ambition of St Jo’s and the opportunity to drive our rugby programme forward. His knowledge and understanding combined with his passion for the game will be a fantastic addition to all ages at St Joseph’s, and we look forward to welcoming him.
‘This is a significant step forward and a statement of our intent to rebuild St Jo’s to be recognised amongst the best rugby programmes in the UK. We look forward to working with Mr Haywood. He will complement an already experienced and impressive rugby department, which we intend to add to further moving forward.’
Mr Winter continued, ‘Over the past six months we have been working hard to begin the transformation of the rugby provision at St Jo’s, and it is already showing signs of success, including recent festival victories at Northampton Saints for our Under 11s and our Under 18s winning the Eltham College Festival.’