Saints so grateful for warrior Wood

A couple of years ago, Tom Wood didn't even know whether he would play again.

By Tom Vickers
Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 4:25 pm
Tom Wood
Tom Wood

Following the defeat to Sale Sharks in March 2018, the flanker feared his career was over due to a problematic pelvic injury that left him unable to walk at times.

But, fast forward, and Wood is now back to his best, not only playing a part for Saints, but playing a huge part.

The 33-year-old has started 19 of Saints' 23 matches this season and has gone from strength to strength since Chris Boyd arrived in the summer of 2018.

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It has got to the point where Saints have been left wondering just where they would be without Wood this season.

They have had so many back row absences that they would be struggling to get a team out if their double-winning hero wasn't around.

And boss Boyd is so thankful for his back row warrior.

"He has worked hard on his off-season and I give absolute credit to Tom," Boyd said.

"When you get to that vintage in the twilight of your career, you can either take the hard road or the easy road and he certainly worked really hard in pre-season.

"He's fronted up continually.

"He struggles to get through a training week but at the end of the day, what I do know is that he'll give everything he can on a Saturday.

"We've overplayed him really but with Lewis away with England, Heinrich Brüssow retiring and Jamie Gibson breaking his ankle, we've been pretty light in that space.

"He, along with Teimana (Harrison), has had to endure a very heavy load so those two guys are in the top five minutes for the season comfortably.

"They've had a big load for us."

This may be Wood's testimonial season at Saints, but there has been no kicking back.

He has been at full throttle, as has always been the case during his 10 years at Franklin's Gardens.

And there appears to be life in him yet, with Boyd expecting him to stick around at Saints for next season.

"I think he'll play one more year," Boyd said.

"He struggles to get through a working week but I have some tolerance for those guys, especially the ones who have been at the club for a long time.

"What he's doing now he was doing 10 years ago so it's a big old shift.

"He's got to make his contribution during the week and generally that comes in the meeting rooms and around the team.

"As long as he's fronting on a Saturday, that's the job we need him to do for us."