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Northampton academy coach Paul Diggin is impressed with Rory Hutchinson

Rory Hutchinson continued to impress the coaching staff at Northampton after helping Saints to a 19-13 victory over Gloucester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The 20-year-old Scottish centre has been given his opportunity in the Saints first team this season and has made an impact in the absence of Luther Burrell.

The England centre is now fit and the pair combined in midfield as Saints made it two from two in the competition with a hard fought win.

Northampton academy coach Paul Diggin said: "Some people may think this is a devalued cup but this is truly valuable experience for our young players. I was very pleased with Rory Hutchinson, I think he's getting better and better as he plays more.

"It was good to see Lewis Ludlam get his opportunity again, he's been waiting a while. Some of the guys have been really patient to get their first team opportunity and it's fantastic to see them play. Some of them have really put their hands up.

"Going forward now there will be some selection headaches which is a brilliant problem to have. We want competition for each place so it will be interesting next time around.

"It was a fantastic performance against Gloucester. It was a little bit frustrating that we let them back in with that try at the end.

"I think for that, they may have knocked the ball on but we should never have put ourselves in that position in the first place."

Gloucester were denied a second straight comeback win, despite late scores for Ollie Thorley and Dan Thomas.

But Gloucester backs coach Tim Taylor felt there were positives to be taken, particularly with the spirit shown late on.

He said: "We had a good mix of players out there. We produced a solid performance on the whole but we lost the game in a few key areas which we'll be looking to work on in training and trying to put right.

"The objective was of course to win but I thought the boys toughed it out well in the end. Finally we had a lot of young boys in the pack who gave a good account of themselves.

"This will be a really good experience for them and one they can learn a lot from."


From Belfast Telegraph