Howard hopes to emulate his countrymen at Saints

Brian Mujati was a big hit at Saints (picture: Linda Dawson)

Brian Mujati was a big hit at Saints (picture: Linda Dawson)

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Pat Howard is keen to follow in the footsteps of the South African players who have enjoyed success at Saints.

The centre moved to Northampton from Western Province this summer and will provide competition for the likes of George Pisi and Luther Burrell.

He was a Currie Cup winner with his former club and spent three months with Munster last season.

But now he will be looking to make a name for himself at Saints and he says the achievements of some of his countrymen at the club are giving him confidence.

Men such as Gary Pagel, Juandre Kruger and Brian Mujati become key figures during their time at Franklin’s Gardens.

And Howard said: “One of the things you think about when making this move is talking to your agent who knows guys that have played here before.

“He’ll say to talk to them and find out how they got on.

“That sets the precedent and guys before have done it here and succeeded which shows me that it’s possible and has been done before and the path has really been set out for me.

“It’s given me great confidence that other (South African) guys have performed well here.”

Howard joined the pre-season preparations two weeks in and has settled well at the Gardens.

He says moving to Saints was ‘an easy choice’ and the 23-year-old is now keen to show fans of his new club what he is all about.

“I like to think I’m a strong runner and for a bigger guy,” Howard said. “I’m actually quite fast and that sometimes decieves a lot of people as people don’t expect it.

“I’m not so much as physical or confrontational as people might expect. I like taking the outside break and go for the corner, things like that.

“I’ve played a little bit on the wing but centre is my preferred position and I do enjoy the space that 13 gives as oppose to 12.

“It’s very difficult on defence but it’s a good position to play and I’ll enjoy the opportunity.”