Boyd to leave Hurricanes for Northampton

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Chris Boyd will leave his position as head coach of Super Rugby side Hurricanes at the end of the 2018 season to take the role of director of rugby at Northampton Saints.

Boyd will take up his duties with the Premiership side in August, ending a three-year spell with the Wellington franchise.

He took over Hurricanes in 2015 and led them to the Super Rugby title a year later.

Boyd will replace Alan Gaffney, who has been serving on an interim basis after the Saints sacked Jim Mallinder last month following 10 years in charge.

Northampton have endured a miserable 2017-18 season so far, sitting third bottom of the table and dumped out of the European Champions Cup after just one win from six pool games.

Boyd said in a Hurricanes statement: "I'm passionate about the Hurricanes and making the call not to carry on was a tough one, but the opportunity at Northampton presented an exciting new challenge that was too good to pass up.

"With my coaching future now decided I can fully focus on the 2018 season and making sure my final year is a memorable one."

Of his plans for Northampton, he told their official website: "I am humbled and excited to be joining Saints. Northampton Saints is a club I have admired all of my coaching career.

"I visited Franklin's Gardens for a week in 2004 when Wayne Smith was head coach, and remember the passion of the Saints supporters and the strong culture at the club.  

"Franklin's Gardens is an excellent stadium with first-class facilities, and when [chairman] John White and [CEO] Mark Darbon outlined the vision for Saints, it was a project I very much wanted to be part of.

"The club's ambitions match my own - I am confident I can help the Saints become one of the biggest and best teams in Europe.

"I have always aspired to coach in the Premiership and I am relishing the opportunity to work with this talented squad of players."