King’s Ely pupil qualifies for Northampton Saints’ Developing Player Programme

King’s Ely Junior pupil and promising Rugby star Dylan Clifton has been selected to join the Northampton Saints’ Developing Player Programme (DPP).

Dylan, 12, who is from the Ely area, says he was “surprised but very excited” to have qualified for the scheme following a series of trials.

The DPP aims to be a “world-class centre of excellence for developing well-rounded players, who have the skills to realise their potential in Rugby and in life”.

Director of Sport at King’s Ely, Jim Thompson, said: “I am delighted that Dylan has been selected for the Northampton Saints DPP. Dylan loves his Rugby and fully deserves his call up after an outstanding year for the Junior 1st XV team. I am sure he will love every minute of being in the programme and will work hard to keep improving all aspects of his game.”

King’s Ely has a proud reputation of students being selected for renowned Rugby teams, with a number of boys in recent years being projected into the limelight and grabbing the attention of several national coaches and scouts.

Earlier this month, Sixth Form student Thomas Stiff represented both the Lambs and King’s Ely by playing for the Midlands Lambs against the North Lambs at Worksop College. Last spring, Sixth Form student Solomon Boon was selected for the Lambs Under 16 National Squad.

Last summer, King’s Ely students George Nearney, Bertie Whymark and Daniel Kember also all qualified for the Northampton Saints’ DPP, and are continuing to reap the benefits of the scheme.

The DPP is a development programme that compliments school, club and county playing programmes, providing further development opportunities without the conflict of competition.

While a key objective by the end of the programme is to identify players with the greatest potential to enter the pathway towards the professional game and England, the scheme’s initial emphasis is on nurturing a player’s attainment of skills, game understanding (principles of play) and athleticism.

To find out more about opportunities at King’s Ely, please visit

Press release form King’s Ely

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