Dowson salutes Millar Mills as Saints prop signs new deal

Phil Dowson says the way Elliot Millar Mills has 'grabbed his opportunities with both hands' has been 'really impressive'.
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And the Saints boss is delighted that the Scotland prop has now signed a new deal at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

Millar Mills has been a real success story since arriving in Northampton on a trial basis towards the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

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He signed a full-time contract soon after and has gone on to make 16 appearances for the black, green and gold so far.

Elliot Millar Mills (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Elliot Millar Mills (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Elliot Millar Mills (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The 31-year-old tighthead initially joined Saints during an unsettled season in which he represented Edinburgh, Bath and the Barbarians, having started the campaign with Wasps before the club went into administration.

The 121kg front row forward made his Saints debut in the opening round of this season’s Premiership Rugby Cup against Ealing Trailfinders and has not looked back since.

So much so that an impressive string of performances for Saints led to a Scotland debut last month in the Six Nations.

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Millar Mills now has three international caps to his name, following in the footsteps of older sisters Bridget and Harriet, who represented Scotland and England Women respectively.

And Dowson has been hugely impressed with how Millar Mills has settled in at Saints.

“Elliot’s had an unorthodox journey through rugby,” said Dowson.

“He’s played in the Premiership, URC, Championship, and within the National League pyramid as well – and due to some pretty unfortunate circumstances, played for five clubs last season alone.

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“It was a brutal year, especially for a guy with a young family. But Elliot is very, very intelligent, picks things up quickly, and has been really consistent whenever he’s played for us. That’s been rewarded with a few caps for Scotland now and I am so pleased for him to be involved in a successful period with them.

“Elliot’s set piece is excellent, and he’s always looking to get better there in his scrummaging, lineout defence, maul attack and so on.

“He also gets a lot of involvements all over the park on both sides of the ball – he moves well within our defence and has become really effective in that space, then in attack his running lines and ability to move the ball fits our game really well.

“He’s also quite a different character to anyone else in the group. A lot of the lads are into things like coffee away from the club; Elliot is teaching himself to code. You need people with different interests and opinions to really make a squad interesting and tight-knit.

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“The big thing for Elliot after last season was that he wanted to put some roots down somewhere and show what he’s capable of.

"He’s grabbed his opportunities with both hands, and to have such a big impact here and then get called-up to Scotland as well in just one season in Northampton is really impressive.”