Determined Ma’afu loving life at Northampton Saints

HAPPY AT THE GARDENS - Salesi Ma'afu (picture: Linda Dawson)
HAPPY AT THE GARDENS - Salesi Ma'afu (picture: Linda Dawson)

Salesi Ma’afu says his move to Saints has been a ‘breath of fresh air’.

The Australian tighthead prop moved to Northampton from Western Force during the summer, ending his stay in his homeland.

He went on to endure a slow start to life at Saints, taking time to get up to speed with the English game, but the 30-year-old has gone from strength to strength since making his debut in the Heineken Cup match at Castres in October.

Ma’afu is refusing to get complacent, though, and he believes he still has plenty more to add to his team’s cause.

“There’s still lots of room for improvement for me,” said Ma’afu. “We’re playing different packs and a lot of football.

“I’ve got Tom Mercey and Gareth Denman breathing down my neck but it’s enjoyable. I’ve got to keep putting those good performances in and keep helping us win games.”

Ma’afu has worked hard on his fitness since the summer, using Wanderers games as a springboard to the first team.

He has played a key role in a testing past month for his team, who have claimed four successive wins, against Leinster, Wasps, Bath and Harlequins.

And Ma’afu said: “The schedule has been pretty tough, but I’m learning a lot at the moment, with the way we play and watching teams and how they do certain things.

“It’s really a breath of fresh air. I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to more.”