"Drove it as Punishment" - Northampton Saints' Legendary Reliant Rialto Set for Repair - Ruck

“Drove it as Punishment” – Northampton Saints’ Legendary Reliant Rialto Set for Repair

The definition of an old banger. Northampton Saints’ famous Reliant Rialto is set to be repaired, with former Saints player and manager Lennie Newman leading the restoration.

Back in the early 2000s, the Northampton Saints players would have to drive the three-wheeler for a week, in a unique punishment for lateness or messing up in training. The Rialto was decked out in the famous green, black and yellow of Northampton, and embossed with a rugby-playing stickman ‘Saint’ on the bonnet.

Image Credit: BBC News Northamptonshire

Speaking to BBC News Northamptonshire, Newman said; “We did a deal, where they would restore it for us, painted it and we used it, with the intention of selling it for charity.

“We used it for probably 12 months as a joke.

“If a player messed up in training, or was late, or they did something stupid, they would have it for a week as a bit of punishment.”

Former England winger Ben Cohen’s tenure with the car is stuff of Saints folklore. Cohen was issued the Rialto for a week after doing donuts on a newly re-surfaced club carpark, however the former Saints flyer kept the old banger for an extra seven days out of choice.

Image Credit: BBC News Northamptonshire

“That was enough for him to get the three-wheeler for a week, but he liked it so much he kept it for another week, he even put his name on the visor.” Newman said.

At the end of the 2002/03 season the car was auctioned of for charity, raising £4,500 after being purchased by a local businessman. The car has since seen better days, after being vandalised and suffering the tests of time.

“It’s in a rare old state, but it’s salvageable, it looks worse than it is,” Newman added.