Patience pays off as Nansen starts to make his mark at Saints

Brandon Nansen says it's been a long time since he's felt in as good a shape as he does now.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 7:00 am
Brandon Nansen
Brandon Nansen

And the powerful lock is hoping to can make his mark at Saints during the second half of the season.

Nansen started in the 24-20 Champions Cup defeat to Ulster at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens last Sunday and he caught the eye at times during his 40 minutes on the field.

He was replaced at half-time by Api Ratuniyarawa but was delighted to get some more meaningful game time under hit belt, having joined Saints last summer.

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"It's been a patient game and the coaching staff and medical staff here have been class," said Nansen, who has made three appearances for Saints so far.

"They've been responding to what I needed to work on and what I needed to do and it's paid off.

"It's been a long time since this body has been 100 per cent.

"The boys playing in my position are playing really well so it becomes a patient game and you've got to be up to speed when your name gets called."

Nansen's withdrawal was not due to injury, just a tactical decision from the coaching team.

"I was pretty fine but the you listen to whatever the coaching staff say," he said.

"I was getting ready to run out for the second half and they said they had changed me so that was the way it was and you can't really argue back.

"It was a class 40 minutes for me and the atmosphere and everything was really cool.

"I wanted to put a bit of pride into the jersey, especially not actually being from Northampton."

Nansen steeled himself for game time at Saints by turning out for Bedford Blues in the Championship.

And he said: "It was definitely good to get a run out there and get the cobwebs out.

"It had been a long time since I'd played before coming here and what better way to get back into it than at Championship level with Bedford?"

Nansen caught the eye with a big break against Ulster, and he also made some of his trademark tackles and carries.

Reflecting on the break over the halfway line, he said: "I saw Biggs (Dan Biggar) and he was looking at me so I just ran as hard as I could with some intent.

"I was lucky enough to get a few steps in before the gas tank emptied!"

Nansen will now set his sights on flooring French giants Racing 92 on Paris on Sunday.

And the 28-year-old said: "It's a quality side to play but we're going over there for the win and nothing less.

"It hasn't gone our way in the Champions Cup so far so the best way to do it is right the wrongs and put a big performance in over there."