Stephenson enjoying Saints first-team exposure

IMPRESSING - Tom Stephenson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
IMPRESSING - Tom Stephenson (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints centre Tom Stephenson says it is great to be at a club that gives young players so much first-team exposure.

Stephenson started an Aviva Premiership game for the first time on Saturday, impressing in the 30-14 win against Worcester at Franklin’s Gardens.

The 19-year-old followed in the footsteps of fellow Academy graduates such as Tom Collins and Will Hooley in breaking into the senior setup this season.

And Stephenson, who is an England Under 20s regular, scoring two tries in their first two Six Nations games, relished the chance to face the Warriors.

“It’s going well,” said the former Moulton College pupil. “It’s great to be at a club like Saints, with the young players getting the opportunity.

“Tommy Collins, Hooley, they all get the opportunity to play, so it gives you a good incentive to play well and train well.

“It was an awesome afternoon for me on Saturday and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially playing at Franklin’s Gardens.

“Any game time I can get at the moment is great for me and when I found out I was playing I was delighted.”

Stephenson made an impact after coming off the bench against Worcester in the win at Sixways in November.

And he caused them problems again last weekend, helping to shoot down the stubborn away side with some good midfield runs.

“We knew it would take us a long time to break them down,” said Stephenson. “It was like the performance we put in at Sixways, when it took 60 minutes to do that.

“They put in a great performance against Leicester the week before and we knew it would be the same against us.”