Collins closing in on Saints return as he celebrates contract extension

Tom Collins scored in the win against Leicester back in September (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Tom Collins scored in the win against Leicester back in September (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Tom Collins is targeting a return to action in the upcoming Anglo-Welsh Cup games as he bids to celebrate his new Saints deal with wins.

The 23-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension on Wednesday.

He is currently out with a foot injury picked up during the Wanderers' victory against Sale Jets at Franklin's Gardens back in November.

But Collins is now back running and is desperate for a rapid return to action, having started the season in fine form for the first team.

"I just picked up a little toe knock, which I thought was nothing at the time," Collins said.

"I had a scan on it and we realised it was more serious than we thought.

"It has been a frustrating few years because I'd always been around the squad, then I got my shot and felt like I was playing well, but again I picked up one of these injuries.

"But it's sport and it's given me a chance to get fitter and stronger and I can come back better for it.

"I'm not a very good person watching - I just want to be out there with the lads."

Despite picking up the injury early in the game against Sale, Collins went on to score four tries in a crushing Wanderers win.

He had started the season with tries for Saints against Leicester Tigers and Harlequins, and his speed and finishing prowess has been missed by the first team.

But it looks like Collins will be back in action against either Sale Sharks or Harlequins in the Anglo-Welsh Cup before the Premiership returns with a trip to Bath on February 9.

"Hopefully I'll be back in full training by the end of next week," Collins said.

"We've got the Anglo-Welsh Cup in a few weeks so if I can push on and get back for a game or two in that I can show the coaches where I'm at and push for a spot in that team."

Though he won't be able to cap a good week by playing against Clermont Auvergne on Saturday evening, Collins can at least enjoy the fact he has been handed a new contract by Saints.

"It's massive for me," he said. "It's my home club and a team I've watched since I was a young kid.

"I always wanted to be here.

"I've got a lot of passion for this club and I just want to get back fit now and help the lads out.

"I'm here for the next two years and I'll work as hard as I can.

"I was always focused on being here - I didn't intend to go anywhere else.

"This was always where I wanted to be.

"My family are nearby and I've bought a house here so it's where I wanted to be."

Collins has played 45 times for Saints, scoring 12 tries in the process.

He started against Leicester in the memorable Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final win in May 2014 and in the stunning success against Leinster in Dublin in December 2013.

And he said: "There's been some great wins and the biggest thing is the bunch of boys you go out and play with and the crowd as well, who are always there when we need them.

"When I signed here, the biggest thing for me is the fans and how supportive they are.

"We've had tough times recently, but we've stood together as a squad, no cracks and hopefully we can kick on now.

"We've got the squad to go forward and it's all about getting that confidence now and building on what we did last weekend."