Jim Mallinder says Louis Picamoles is one of the best signings he’s made since taking over at Saints.
And the director of rugby described the French star’s performance against England last Saturday as ‘absolutely outstanding’.
Picamoles was named man of the match in the Six Nations opener at Twickenham, despite being on the losing team.
And Mallinder was hugely impressed with the player he brought to Saints from Toulouse last summer.
“I think he was absolutely outstanding in that game,” Mallinder said.
“In a team full of top-class internationals, he really stood out.
“It just shows how fortunate we are to have a player like Louis. He can do things a lot of other players can’t.
“He is different to other players because he plays very upright, but he certainly knows when to run, when to pass, when to offload.
“I’m looking forward to watching him for the rest of the season.”
Mallinder has signed stars such as Samu Manoa and George North for Saints since becoming director of rugby in 2007.
And when asked where powerful No.8 Picamoles ranks in his list of top acquisitions, the boss said: “He’s definitely up there.
“We want him to keep playing well for us as well as for France.
“Fingers crossed he can stay injury free, have a really good Six Nations and then come back with the rest of our international players and help us push on for the remainder of the season.”