New boy Denman fully prepared for Saints challenge

PREPARED - Gareth Denman believes his experience of life in the Championship can help him make the step up at Saints

PREPARED - Gareth Denman believes his experience of life in the Championship can help him make the step up at Saints

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Saints new boy Gareth Denman believes the rough and tumble of Championship rugby will stand him in good stead for a crack at the Premiership.

Denman begins pre-season training with Northampton on July 1, following his move from second tier side Rotherham.

During his time with the Titans, the 22-year-old, who is a product of the Leeds Carnegie academy, built a reputation as one of the most promising tighthead props in the Championship.

He will now battle it out with Salesi Ma’afu and Tom Mercey for the No.3 shirt at Saints next season and Denman believes he will be able to shine in higher level surroundings.

“The Championship’s a really difficult league, especially for a young prop like me,” said Denman. “You face new challenges every week and it’s a really tough place to play for a young front rower.

“But you need to do that to be able to make the step up. You’re learning week in, week out by playing different players. It’s a really tough challenge in the Championship.”

Denman racked up 18 appearances at Rotherham, adding to the experience gained at Leeds, where he played 34 times.

And he is now looking forward to taking the next step in his career at Saints: a club he rates highly.

“It’s probably the best team in the Premiership, with a great forward pack,” said Denman. “It’s an exciting team.

“They play a lot of forwards rugby and I feel that I’ll learn a lot from the team and the coaches. It will help me along my way in my career.”