A team as big as Northampton needed big players to help them achieve their success. Here are seven of the greatest Saints players of all time

Hailing from Northampton, East Midlands, Saints are one of the top five most successful Rugby Union clubs in the competition's history.

The rugby giants have won 12 honours since their conception in 1880, including one Heineken Cup, one Aviva Premiership, two European Rugby Challenge Cups and one Premiership Rugby Cup.

The Saints also compete in one of Ruby Union’s fiercest derbies, against their bitter long-time rivals Leicester Tigers. The matches are always hotly contested and games between the two have come to be known as the “East Midlands Derby”.

With the level of success that Saints have achieved, you would be right in assuming that they have had some seriously good players in their ranks over the years.

In this list are our picks for Northampton Saints top five players of all time, keep reading to find out who they are.

Paul Grayson

1993 - 2005 | Games: 259 | Points: 2784

Making 259 appearances for the club, Fly-half Paul Grayson was a key player in Northampton Saints ascension to the top of the English and European rugby pyramid.

As goal kicker for Northampton, Lancashire born Grayson played an integral part in the Saints team of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, amassing well over 2000 points in that time.

He handed the Saints late, late wins against Wasps and Llanelli Scarlets on their way to the 1999/2000 Heineken Cup final. In the Saints’ narrow 9-8 victory over Munster in the final, Grayson scored all nine of his team's points on the day with three clutch penalty goals.

Grayson left Northampton in 2005 as their all-time leading points scorer, a record that he still holds to this day.

A consistent and fantastic performer for the Saints that never really gets the recognition he deserves among fans, Grayson is very deserving of a place on the list of Saints greatest ever players.

Edgar Mobbs

1905 - 1913 | Games: 234 | Points: 895

Born and bred in Northampton, Edgar Mobbs is a true Saint in every sense of the word. A name that has become synonymous with the club's history, he was captain of the Saints for six years in the early 1900’s. He is also the clubs fourth leading try scorer of all time.

Positioned on the wing, Edgar Mobbs was a natural leader and played a huge part in the success of both Northampton Saints and the England national team during his tenure in their ranks.

Mobbs isn't just a legend on the rugby field, he was also a war hero in WW1. He bravely led the “Sporting Battalion”, made up of 264 Northamptonshire soldiers into battle in 1914.

As Lieutenant Colonel, Mobbs was fatally wounded leading an assault on a machine gun tower in 1917 and his body was never recovered. However, the sportsmen’s legacy lives on, with a memorial bust being unveiled in Northampton, as well as a street next to Franklin's Gardens being renamed in honour of the player.

A true leader on and off the field and a Northampton legend, Edgar Mobbs is a must have for any list of Saints greatest players.

Lewis Ludlam

2013 - Present | Games: 106 | Points: 65

After being initially released from Northampton's youth squad, Lewis Ludlam was re-signed by the Saints in 2013 and hasn't looked back since.

After spending time on dual registration with Coventry, Moseley and Rotherham Titans, the flanker burst onto the scene in 2018 during current manager Chris Boyd’s first season with the club.

Fast forward five years and Ludlam is the club captain and has been one of the clubs most consistent performers.

The Ipswich-born player has repaid Boyd for his faith and become a real leader in the current Northampton team. No doubt by the end of his career he will be remembered as a Saints legend.

Matt Dawson

1991 - 2004 | Games: 246 | Points: 693

Well known for his 'sniping runs' and his versatility on the field, Matt Dawson was an important player for club and country throughout his career.

Dawson made almost 250 appearances at Scrum-half for the Saints in his 13-year tenure with the East Midlands club. He was one half of the tenacious half-back partnership with Paul Grayson, that helped the team to Heineken Cup success at the turn of the century.

Dawson stuck with the club through the bad days of relegation out of the Premiership, and lifted the team out of some sticky situations on more than one occasion. He was also the glue that stuck the team together during the years of investment to bring the team back up to the top of the Rugby Union rankings.

In the club's poll for their 130th anniversary, Dawson was voted into the Saints all-time dream XV, along with his playing partner Paul Grayson.

Dickie Jeeps

1952 - 1965 | Games: 273 | Points: 240

Richard ‘Dickie’ Jeeps played as a Scrum-half and made almost 300 appearances for the Saints in his 13 years in Northampton.

Jeeps was a naturally gifted sportsman whose name is mentioned in the same breath as Northampton legends such as Edgar Mobbs. He remains the Saints most capped British and Irish Lions player.

His speed and smoothness of service made him a consistent fixture at both club and international level, and he was rated as one of the most complete English players of his generation.

After retiring, Jeeps went on to be elected President of the Rugby Football Union in the 1976/77 season and Chairman of the Sports Council for seven years.

Courtney Lawes

2007 - Present | Games: 258 | Points: 35

Raised in Northampton just miles away from Saints’ iconic Franklin's Gardens, Courtney Lawes is living every young rugby fan’s dream.

Since making his debut for the team way back in 2007 Lawes has been a consistent fixture in the side, helping Saints to win the Aviva Premiership title in 2014.

Known for his hard tackling, the lock is a senior player in the current Northampton team notching over 250 appearances, and was named as the Saints player of the season in 2020.

Lawes has also had great success internationally, winning three Six Nations titles with England, with the first coming after a 16-year drought.

The player has won five honours with the Saints and is no doubt considered to be one of their best players of all time.

George North

2013 - 2018 | Games: 90 | Points: 190

The most recent player on this list, George North played as a wing and centre for the Saints for five years in the mid 2000’s.

The Norfolk born star was instrumental to Saints success in his time with the club, playing a pivotal role in the 2014 Aviva Premiership title winning team. He was Saints’ leading try scorer with seven, in their journey to the title.  

He also helped the East Midlands outfit secure a European Rugby Champions Cup place in 2017 before departing the club the following year.

While North wasn't a Saints player for as long as some of the others on this list, he was just as important and helped the team to one of their greatest conquests in 2014. Earning him a place in the conversation of Saints greatest players.

Honourable mentions

  • Teddy Cook 1908 - 1923 - Saints’ record try scorer with 219 in 263 appearances on the wing. Career was unfortunately halted due to World War 1.
  • Pat Lam 1998 - 2001 - The club's 2000 Heineken Cup winning captain, installed a winning culture in the club during his three season tenure.

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