Saints full-back Furbank: Freeman has been on fire!
George Furbank has been hugely impressed with fellow Saints full-back Tommy Freeman, saying 'he's on fire!'.
Freeman has taken to life at the top level of English rugby like a duck to water, scoring three tries in 11 appearances for Saints.
Like Furbank, the 20-year-old is Saints Academy product.
And Furbank said: "Freemo has been on fire, he's playing class so it's putting pressure on us and that's good.
"You want the added pressure because you know you have to go out and perform and it can only be good for me and the team.
"It's weird because I watch Freemo now and think how I was in that position just a couple of years ago.
"He's a hell of a player, a hell of an athlete and we've got to keep pushing each other.
"We've also got other lads in that position who I know will come out and deliver so there's some really good competition."
It was a case of one in, one out last weekend as Freeman was ruled out of the game against London Irish with a knee problem, but Furbank returned from a calf injury.
Saints won the crucial Gallagher Premiership game at Franklin's Gardens 44-26.
And Furbank is now ready to go again at Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm all good," said the 24-year-old.
"It was just a small calf tear that I picked up at Worcester last month and now I'm fully ready to go."
Furbank knows Saints must do much better when they travel to Leicester this weekend than they did last time they played at Welford Road.
Tigers claimed a 28-24 win against Chris Boyd's side back in September.
And Furbank said: "It probably was one of our worst performances we've ever had.
"It was in that run of poor games we were having (Saints lost 12 in a row) and we couldn't seem to get out of that rut.
"It was one of those performances we look back on and are very disappointed with, but we've not really spoken about that this week.
"It's about focusing on us and focusing on the game coming up."
Furbank admits it is a shame fans still won't be able to be part of derby day at the stadium.
And when asked what it's like playing such a meaningful match behind closed doors, he said: "It's different!
"Normally both stadiums would be packed out on derby day so it's strange.
"We've got used to playing with no fans now but the edge will definitely be there.
"Both sets of players know it's derby day and there's that extra edge added to the game.
"It won't feel too different because we know what it's like with no fans, but it would be nice to have fans at the stadium.
"It is quite hostile but not something you really notice while you're playing.
"If there's a break in play and you're getting abuse hurled at you then you notice, but it's not something you notice when you're actually playing - it's all white noise."