Jim Mallinder says he is very pleased with how Saints’ youngsters have performed in the absence of some of the club’s senior stars in recent weeks.
The likes of Teimana Harrison, Paul Hill and Tom Collins have impressed in recent weeks, with all three excelling in the 8-3 Aviva Premiership win against Exeter Chiefs on New Year’s Day.
Harrison has been filling in for Tom Wood, Hill has stepped up with Kieran Brookes out and Collins came in for his first start last week with Jamie Elliott and Ahsee Tuala missing.
And Mallinder is delighted that his young guns are taking their chances.
“We’ve been very, very pleased with the youngsters coming through,” said the Saints director of rugby.
“With some of the older lads being out, it has created opportunities for some of our younger lads.
“Clearly you want everyone available all the time, but the experience some of these lads are getting is vital.”
With no LV= Cup games this season, the pressure is on the young players to take their opportunities when they come.
But Mallinder said: “There’s pressure on everybody, there’s pressure on the senior lads to play well every week.
“There’s pressure on the younger lads to come in and perform and there’s pressure on the coaches to get results and get the club in that top four.
“We’re a big club, we’ve done well in the past and there’s that expectation for everybody to do well.”