Calum Clark has hailed the emergence of Teimana Harrison.
Clark missed the entirety of last season with a shoulder injury, but Harrison stepped up, taking Clark’s place in the back row and also claiming the players’ and supporters’ player of the year prizes his fellow flanker had won the year before.
New Zealand-born Harrison also made his England debut last season and went on tour with the national team to Australia.
The 24-year-old lined up alongside Clark in the back row at Harlequins last weekend.
And Clark said: “He was outstanding last year.
“I’m really happy for him, with where he’s come from.
“He came over here to give himself an opportunity and he’s really stepped up and taken that last year.
“We’ve got Louis (Picamoles) who has signed and who is exceptional and we’ve got Woody (Tom Wood) who is captain so we’ve got a lot of competition and that’s good for the squad.
“It’s good for everyone to be pushing everyone.”
On Wood’s captaincy, Clark added: “I’m a big admirer of Woody.
“We speak a lot and we’ve got a similar attitude towards rugby.
“He’ll be just as disappointed as anyone else as to how we’ve performed and he’s just as motivated as anyone else to put it right.”