'Natural leader' Coles is a 'long-time Saints captain of the future'
Matt Ferguson believes 'natural leader' Alex Coles has all of the attributes to be a regular Saints captain.
Coles has skippered Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup during the past two weeks.
And though the results didn't go the way of the black, green and gold - they lost to London Irish and Harlequins - Coles has managed to impress.
The 22-year-old has taken over leadership duties from club captain Lewis Ludlam, who has been away with England.
And assistant coach Ferguson has been impressed by the talented young lock.
"Colesy is 100 per cent that natural leader," Ferguson said.
"He's a lineout general, he's used to talking, he's used to leading week in, week out with his calling process and if you're working with players like Biggs (Dan Biggar) and Mitch (Alex Mitchell) you have to be a natural leader.
"He's an outstanding, very bright man, an outstanding player and he's hugely respected across this group.
"He's potentially a long-time Saints captain of the future."
Saints were beaten late on at Harlequins on Friday night, losing 26-25 after conceding two tries in the final 15 minutes.
But there were still some positives performances for Ferguson to reflect on.
"Big Litchy (Tom Litchfield) in the midfield is a beast of a man. He hit me on the pads in the warm-up and that's two weeks running he's had the best hit pre-match, which is a good sign for your centre.
"I liked Conor Carey. He was told he had five minutes after half-time and I forgot about it for 15 minutes so we'll have to look after him.
"Josh Gillespie is somebody who doesn't seem to be fazed and is a big man on the wing.
"There will always be huge positives but we want to be a Saints team that learns and gets better and if we do that we'll win more than we lose."