Kenyan prodigy Weru joins Northampton Saints

Josh Weru

Josh Weru (right) with unidentified club official after signing for Northampton Saints.

Photo credit: Pool |

What you need to know:

  • The club said on Wednesday that the 18-year-old signed his first professional contract after catching the eye of Saints Academy coaches Mark Hopley, Will Parkin, Jake Sharp and Tim Grimsey.
  • Weru will train with the first-team squad at Cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens while studying full-time for a degree at Loughborough University.

Kenyan youngster Josh Weru has joined Premiership Rugby side Northampton Saints ahead of the 2022-2023 season.

The club said on Wednesday that the 18-year-old signed his first professional contract after catching the eye of Saints Academy coaches Mark Hopley, Will Parkin, Jake Sharp and Tim Grimsey.

Weru will train with the first-team squad at Cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens while studying full-time for a degree at Loughborough University.

An athletic back row who predominantly features as eightman or blindside flanker, Weru has been a part of Saints’ Academy set-up since the age of 14.

Saints say he was scouted originally at Stowe School before he moved to Rugby School to complete his A-levels and is now training with Phil Dowson’s squad in Northampton with preseason preparations underway ahead of the new campaign.

“Josh unfortunately had to contend with a couple of injuries last season, so we didn’t see as much of him in the Academy League as we’d have liked. But the considerable impact he made on the pitch when he played, proved to us that he has what it takes to make the step up,” said Saints’ Under-18s side coach Parkin.

“His ball-carrying ability is amongst the very best we’ve seen at Under-18s level, and he still has a huge amount of potential thanks to his natural power and speed.”

Parkin noted that Josh has some work to do on the technical side of his game, but he certainly won’t lack the work ethic to develop himself at Saints.

“We must pass our appreciation to Josh’s teachers from both Stowe and Rugby schools – Mr Seely, Mr Pointon and Mr Bayly – who supported him so well. And huge thanks must also go to Josh’s mother, Millicent, and his wider family who have encouraged him to achieve his goals here at Saints,” said the club on its website.

Weru becomes the ninth player to graduate from the club’s Under-18s side ahead of the new season.

He was called up by coach Paul Odera when he was 16 for Kenya Under-20 side Chipu.

Weru, who was a top cricketer in school back in Kenya as well as a sprinter, turns 19 on October 3. His older brother Jeremy Weru was also called up for Chipu.

“As a child, Josh spent a lot of time at Kenya Harlequin watching games and training while I was Kenya Simbas and Kenya Harlequin coach,” former Kenyan international Kenneth Thimba, Josh’s father, told Nation Sport.

Odera, who coached Josh at U9, U11 and U13, said they would like to watch him more with the intention of including him in the Kenya Simbas squad in future.

"I called him to the national under-20 team in 2020 which unfortunately was disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. We would like to watch him because he is playing at No.8 which is an area we are trying to strengthen," noted Odera.  

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