Two Bedford School students sign first professional rugby contracts for Northampton Saints

Rugby players Jonny Weimann and Aiden Ainsworth-Cave at Franklin's Gardens
Jonny Weimann and Aiden Ainsworth-Cave at Franklin's Gardens Image: Elizabeth Weimann

The next stage of a professional rugby career beckons for two hot prospects from Bedford School who signed their first professional contracts with Northampton Saints this week.

Jonny Weimann, 18 and Aiden Ainsworth-Cave, 17, will join the Saints’ senior academy set up for 2024/25 alongside six other youngsters who will set out on their pro journeys at Franklin’s Gardens.

Both students have also appeared for England Under-18s in the Six Nations Festival this season, with Weimann making his senior debut for Northampton Saints against Sale Sharks in March.

For Ainsworth-Cave, the signing of a professional contract represents a major milestone as he has battled back from a serious injury last year.

Saints Academy Coach, Charlie Reed was particularly complimentary on the rapid progress both young men have made through the ranks.

“Jonny has gone from being on the fringes of our Under-17s team, to wearing an England shirt and earning himself his first professional contract just a year later”, said Reed.

“He has had a rapid momentum shift in terms of his development. He is someone that is tough and puts himself in positions where he can get better.

“What has really stood out with Jonny is how quickly his journey has been in terms of his development, and how well he has applied himself to get where he is.”

Jonny Weimann and Aiden Ainsworth-Cave in their Bedford School rugby kit after being called up to England Under 18s in March 2024
Jonny Weimann (left) and Aiden Ainsworth-Cave (right) have been enjoyed excellent seasons Image: Bedford School

Charlie also praised Aiden for his professionalism in fighting back from a difficult time on the physio’s table.

“Aiden suffered a long term injury last year and through a great mindset with his rehab, he was exceptional and very professional in gaining his place at the Academy League final and for the England Under-18 squad.”

Jonny Weimann has been reflecting on what has been a career-shaping season.

“Having played rugby since the age of 4, it was a dream come true to sign my first contract.

It was a surreal experience getting introduced to all the fans inside the stadium and it was great to also have my parents there who have given up a lot of time over the years.”

The pair could be joining a championship winning side, with Northampton Saints aiming to top the Premiership table with a victory at third-placed Bath on Saturday before the play-offs decide the destination of the trophy.