Saints centurion Alex Waller admitted feeling old after his side’s LV= Cup success against Gloucester on Saturday.
But the 23-year-old loosehead prop was delighted with the showing of his club’s young guns and believes a bright future is in store.
Waller made his 100th Saints appearance in the 33-6 win against the Cherry and Whites at Franklin’s Gardens.
It was a game which saw a number of youngsters making first-team bows with one of them, 20-year-old scrum-half Alex Day, coming off the bench to score twice.
And the emergence of Day and Co left Waller, himself a product of the Saints Academy, beaming.
“It was fantastic to make the 100 with the boys and get the win,” said the Kettering-born front row forward. “It was a really proud moment for me and I’m just glad I could share it with all the lads.
“The lads really stepped up. There are a lot of young lads who hadn’t played before, who were making their debuts, and they really stepped up.
“You look at players like Sam Olver and players like him really showed they could hold their own so it only bodes well for the future of the club.”
And Waller, who was named man of the match in the Gloucester triumph, added: “It was a bit strange; some of these lads are making me feel old. But it’s fantastic for the future of the club.
“The Academy is producing some really good players and the lads are stepping up.”