Luther Burrell has hailed centre partner Tom Stephenson for seizing his chance in the Saints first team.
Stephenson has started the past six matches, impressing during a successful autumn international period and in the 38-15 win at Treviso on Saturday.
The 20-year-old has made the most of the absence of George Pisi, who returned from injury with a try-scoring cameo from the replacements bench at Stadio di Monigo.
And Burrell has been hugely impressed with Stephenson, with the pair striking up a formidable midfield partnership in recent weeks.
“He’s a good player is Stevo,” said Burrell.
“You wouldn’t look at him and think he’s going to be as devastating as he is.
“He’s hard to put down, a strong ball carrier and he’s very powerful.
“He’s a good player to work with and I’ve enjoyed playing alongside him for the past few weeks.
“He’s always talking, always keen and credit to him. He’s come in while George Pisi’s been injured and taken his opportunity with both hands.”