Former Saints star Budge Pountney admits he’s been hugely impressed by the development of Tom Wood.
Wood skippered England on their tour of South America this summer, leading the nation to a superb 2-0 Test series victory over Argentina.
It was the culmination of a huge amount of hard work from the 26-year-old, who moved to Northampton from Worcester in 2010.
And Pountney, like Wood, an international flanker during his time at Saints, has nothing but praise for the inspirational forward.
“He’s been very impressive,” said the Scot, who played 104 times for Northampton between 1997 and 2003. “He’s learnt every year and his involvement in the game has got greater per year, per season.
“He’s obviously a natural leader. He’s someone who speaks just by what he does on the pitch and you’ve just got a great guy in the Northampton setup who works hard and is clearly valued by the team. He’s done a great job.”
Wood will be joined in the Saints pack by another impressive England player this season, with Alex Corbisiero having joined the club from London Irish.
The prop is currently on tour with the British & Irish Lions and will start the third and final Test against Australia on Saturday.
And Pountney said: “Corbisiero undoubtedly scrummaged brilliantly and has stepped up to the mark, as we’ve always seen for England.
“Coming off a season which has been dismantled through injury, he’s done really well. He’s taken his chance and he was unfortunate with his calf, missing the second Test, but he’s back for the next game.”
Budge Pountney was speaking at a QBE Coaching Club session on behalf of QBE, the business insurance specialist, who are supporting the development of rugby through the QBE Coaching Programme. For news, video and blogs, visit www.QBErugby.com