Year 8 student Haydn Bennett has been accepted onto a rugby development programme just a few months after starting the sport. Haydn underwent two and a half hours of gruelling testing to clinch his place in the East Midlands U-13 Rugby Developing Player Programme where he will receive training from Saints coaches.
Haydn was encouraged to apply for the scheme by sports teacher Mr Clasper. Haydn and around 100 other hopefuls took part in tests of stamina and agility to prove his talent. He said: ‘We had different tasks on things like handling, kicking, tackling, agility and problem solving and about three games overall. I have been playing rugby since last September and I play for Kettering U-13s. We haven’t lost a match since we started. I like rugby because it is quite an aggressive sport and I am quite a competitive person.’
Haydn has got 11 training sessions scheduled over the next few months, plus a tournament and many of the sessions are taking place at Franklins Gardens in Northampton. Haydn also swims five times a week, plus does wake-boarding at Grendon and snowboarding in Milton Keynes. He said: ‘I am really pleased that I got accepted on the development programme as so many people went for it and only 30 were selected. It is a great opportunity, especially as I have not been playing for very long.’
Mr Clasper said; ‘Haydn has got real skills and the potential to make a top performing player. He has got the right mindset and the right physical build. He is a hard runner, he sprints for the county, he swims for the county, he does athletics for the school and because of his physical build, at this age, he is good for everything and is at just the right age to really benefit from the intense and targeted rugby training on this development programme.’