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Northampton Saints to honour Barwell family with opening of new stand

The Barwell Stand will be officially opened today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The new North Stand at Northampton Saints' Franklin's Gardens will be officially opened today (February 13).

The 2,000-seater Barwell Stand has been used since early November but a ceremonial cutting of ribbon will take place this afternoon before Saints' Premiership clash with London Irish.

The day will be dedicated to the Barwell family who have played a key role in the running of the club in recent years.

A number of Saints legends will also be paraded in front of the crowd before kick-off.

"Although the Barwell Stand will honour the name for years to come, it is only fitting that supporters are given the opportunity to show their gratitude and thanks to Keith and the rest of the Barwell family for what they have done for Saints over the years which has culminated in us being where we are today - one of the best clubs in England.

One of Keith's core beliefs was that the club is bigger than any one individual, which is why we're inviting players who have put their names in the history books by having played hundreds of times in the first team to join us, and why we're working with local schools to tell youngsters about our past that we're so proud of.

It will be a great occasion, and we're looking forward to seeing another full house to help make this a memorable day for Keith and his family."

– Allan Robson, Northampton Saints Chief Executive

Northampton Saints v London Irish, Aviva Premiership, Saturday 13 February, 15:00

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Saints start 2016 with a win over the Chiefs

Saints star Mark Haywood who scored the only try in the win over Exeter on New Year's Day Credit: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints got 2016 off to the perfect start this afternoon beating Premiership title rivals Exeter Chiefs 8-3 in front of a record crowd at Franklin's Gardens.

Saints Hooker Mark Haywood got the only try of game in the first half. As the rain poured down the home side held firm and although Exeter scored a penalty with seven minutes to go, Northampton always looked like claiming a well deserved victory.

Northampton forward to take year-long sabbatical

Corbisiero has announced he's going to take a break from rugby Credit: PA.

Northampton Saints forward Alex Corbisiero has announced he is going to take a break from rugby at the end of the season.

The England prop has suffered a series of injuries in recent years and missed the World Cup this autumn with a back problem.

Corbisiero's contract at Franklin's Gardens expires in the summer and he says that instead of looking for a new club, he will take a year-long sabbatical instead.

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Northampton Saints coach Mallinder linked to vacant England job

Jim Mallinder currently heads up the Northampton Saints.

The Northampton Saints' coach who has been heavily linked to take rugby's top job has refused to comment after bookies placed 6/1 odds on him replacing Stuart Lancaster.

Jim Mallinder would not speculate on the rumours when ITV Anglia approached him at a press conference today.

It comes after Stuart Lancaster stood down after England's disappointing World Cup performance.

Other people linked to the job are Wales boss Warren Gatland, Australia's Michael Cheika, and Ireland's Joe Schmidt and Japan coach Eddie Jones whose side surprised many at the recent world cup.

Saints' England player Kieran Brookes spoke to us about the speculation.

Timelapse video shows construction of Northampton Saints' new stand

This timelapse video shows the construction of Northampton Saints' new stand.

The camera was installed by ITV News Anglia, and shows the old stand being demolished and the new one being put up.

The Barwell Stand will be opened for the first time tomorrow when the Saints take on Saracens.

Click below to watch the video

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