Saints send lock forward off to Bedford

Northampton Saints have announced that Phil Hoy will spend 2008/09 on loan at National League One club Bedford Blues.

Hoy, a 20-year-old second row forward, has been in the Saints Senior Academy for the past two seasons. An England Under-20 international, he made his first team debut against Coventry last November.

He went on to make 11 appearances, including three starts, and played in the Guinness ‘A’ League final. Hoy is the second Saint to go on loan to Bedford Blues for next season and he will join Will Harries at Goldington Road.

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that a further season in National League One will benefit Hoy’s development.

“NL1 is a tough league, especially for the forwards,” he said.

“For a young lock like Phil it will be a steep learning curve but also a good experience. We had no hesitation in putting him into the action last season and he showed good composure and maturity when given his chance. Bedford is not that far away and we will be keeping a close eye on his development over the next few months.”

“I really enjoyed playing in National League One last season and I’m sure that I will learn a lot from another year in the division,” said Hoy.

“There are plenty of experienced players around, both at Bedford and at other clubs, and I will be working hard to take as much from the season as I can.”

“Phil is a young second row who has a lot of potential,” said Bedford Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer.

“Despite being only 20 he has experience in National League One and the Guinness ‘A’ League and he is keen to work hard to improve his standard of play. He is a mature young man who will fit in well with the type of squad we are putting together.”

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