Northampton Saints winger Paul Diggin has signed a new contract that will see him combine coaching with playing.
The 28-year-old has made 148 appearances for Saints since making his debut in 2004, scoring 62 tries, and has won both the Amlin Challenge Cup and LV= Cup.
Diggin missed all of the previous campaign after suffering a serious knee injury in a pre-season game against Leinster last summer, and during his absence he worked with the club's academy coaching staff.
Although his ambition is to continue to play for Northampton, Diggin also has one eye fixed onto the future.
"I'm very excited," he said. "Coaching is something that I've always had in the back of my mind.
"Obviously I've wanted to play on for as long as I could, but opportunities like this don't come along that often and I couldn't turn it down.
"I remain as committed as always to playing for the Saints, and hopefully I will get as much game time as possible this season in what will be a very exciting team.
"But I've got one eye very much on the future as well and I'm looking forward to working with a group of very talented young players."
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Diggin has the ability to become a talented coach but still offers a great deal as a player.
He said: "Paul is at the stage of his career where he is looking to the future, and while we all know how much desire he still has to play for the club he has also made it apparent that he wants to become a coach.
"We believe that he has the ability to bring a great deal to our academy staff."