Dowson has 'huge hopes' for Lockett after forward extends Saints stay

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Phil Dowson says Saints have 'huge hopes' for Tom Lockett after tying the 21-year-old to a new deal.

Lockett has broken through at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens this season, while also impressing on loan at Bedford Blues.

He has made 19 appearances for Saints since graduating from the Academy to debut against London Irish in the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2021.

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Lockett made his Gallagher Premiership debut earlier this season, before scoring a match-winning try against RC Toulon in the Investec Champions Cup two months later.

Phil Dowson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Phil Dowson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Phil Dowson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

And Saints are looking for him to step up even more next season, particularly with Alex Moon set to join Bayonne this summer.

“Tom really learned how to use his giant frame throughout last summer, and has become a bit of a handful in collisions," said Saints boss Dowson.

“He is a real student of the game, loves his lineout work and (coach) James Craig has become a big mentor for him.

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“Tom knows that the set piece is going to be one of his fundamentals and he spends a lot of time looking at calling and defensive set-ups.

"He has a huge potential for growth and is beginning to understand how much of a brute he can be with his weight.

“He’s made some big impacts for us in the first team this season, particularly in the Champions Cup where he performed really well up in Glasgow and then again at home a week later against Toulon – the way he moved into space for the match-winning try against Toulon under a huge amount of pressure was very nuanced and impressive.

“In his collisions, especially in defence, a lot of the techniques and processes that (defence coach) Lee Radford has brought in have really suited him.

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"He is another player who has benefitted from our partnership with Bedford Blues and playing in the Championship, and we have got huge hopes for him.”

Tom Lockett fact file

Originally in Colchester United’s football academy, Saints Academy coaches picked up Lockett aged 16 and saw enough potential in the youngster to take him on full-time just 18 months later.

A physical second row at 6ft 8ins tall, Lockett was scouted from Colchester Royal Grammar School in 2019 and initially earned international honours with Wales (playing for their Under-18s side), before switching to England at Under-20s level and featuring prominently in both the Six Nations and Summer Series in the 2021/22 season.

Lockett has made his most senior appearances in a single season already this term, featuring for Saints 11 times so far while also playing for Northampton’s partner side Bedford Blues in the Championship.