Luther Burrell has hailed Calum Clark ahead of the Saints flanker’s first England Test today (Saturday).
Clark, who won both his club’s players’ and supporters’ player of the season prizes last term, will win his first cap for his country in the World Cup warm-up match against France.
Saints flanker Tom Wood will skipper a side that also contains Kieran Brookes, while Alex Corbisiero is on the bench.
Burrell has been given the weekend off, with the England team largely made up of fringe players.
And the centre can’t wait to see his club-mate wearing the red rose at Twickenham for the first time.
“He’s hugely excited about it and he’s a player that has put in so much effort last season to try and reach this achievement, and in his eyes it’s massive,” Burrell said.
“He was dying to get a cap and I’m so chuffed that he’s able to get that now and has the opportunity to wear the rose and represent England at Twickenham.
“I’m really excited about watching him, it’s going to be fantastic.”
Clark was the outstanding player at Franklin’s Gardens last season, making 31 appearances as Saints topped the Aviva Premiership standings for the first time.
And Burrell added: “The thing with Calum is that he just keeps his head down.
“He’s been grafting, grafting and grafting and he’s been playing well for Northampton, we know what he’s about.
“He’s a good leader on the field and he’s been fantastic since coming in to the senior group.
“It’s awesome that he’s going to get his opportunity and put pressure on the coaches to select him.
“There’s going to be strong competition due to the quality of players available.”