Tom Collins says it was good to turn theory into practice when he made his senior Saints debut on Saturday.
The academy wing got a taste of first-team action as he came on for the final 12 minutes of the 26-7 win against Gloucester in the LV= Cup.
Collins had been on the bench for Saints in the competition before, but had not been given any game time, until last weekend.
And the 18-year-old loved every second of it, drawing on advice from wily pros Ben Foden and Tom May to put in a sound performance.
“It was really good,” said Collins, who is a former Moulton College pupil. “I’ve been sitting on the bench a couple of times in this competition and that’s been good experience.
“I’ve been able to take things from Fodes (Ben Foden), Tommy May and other players.
“It was good to get out there and put them into practice on Saturday and I enjoyed it. It was good out there.”
Collins could have got another run out when Saints go to Exeter in the LV= Cup this weekend.
But he won’t be involved as he now links up with the England Under 20s ahead of their Six Nations opener against Scotland on Friday night.
And Collins said: “It is a bit (bittersweet) but I’m looking forward to playing for the 20s if I get an opportunity.
“I haven’t played international rugby before so if I get my opportunity it will be good.
“I’m just taking it as it comes really. Every opportunity I get I want to do as well as I can.
“Even sitting on the bench, I’m taking positives because I’m still quite young and it’s good to get that experience.”