Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Paul Diggin agrees player-coach deal with Northampton

The 28-year-old will combine roles

Paul Diggin has signed a contract extension with Northampton Saints which will see the winger combine coaching with playing.

The 28-year-old has made 148 appearances, scoring 62 tries, since making his Saints debut in 2004, but missed most of last season due to a knee injury sustained in pre-season.

During his absence, Diggin worked with the club's age-group players alongside the academy coaching staff and it is one of the factors which contributed to his eagerness to sign a new deal.

"I'm very excited," Diggin said on northamptonsaints.co.uk. "I remain as committed as always to playing for the Saints, and hopefully I will get as much game time as possible this season in what will be a very exciting team.

"But I've got one eye very much on the future as well and I'm looking forward to working with a group of very talented young players."

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder added: "Paul is at the stage of his career where he is looking to the future, and while we all know how much desire he still has to play for the club he has also made it apparent that he wants to become a coach, and we believe that he has the ability to bring a great deal to our academy staff."