Francis feels he is 'getting there' at Saints

Piers Francis has been entrusted with the Saints 10 shirt in recent weeks (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Piers Francis has been entrusted with the Saints 10 shirt in recent weeks (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Piers Francis feels he is 'getting there' as he bids to stake his claim for the Saints fly-half shirt in the short and long term.

Francis has started the past three matches at 10, keeping Stephen Myler and James Grayson out of the team last Saturday.

He landed two conversions, a penalty and a timely drop goal to help Saints secure a crucial 25-17 Aviva Premiership victory against London Irish at Franklin's Gardens.

And when asked how he feels his game has been going at fly-half in recent weeks, Francis said: "It's getting there.

"I probably overlooked how much of an adjustment I needed to make coming here to a new team, culture, environment and players.

"It does take a bit of time and I've taken my time with it.

"That, with injuries, it hasn't been the smoothest of starts and, like every player wants, I just want time in the shirt.

"I just need to be positive and have good performances.

"Hopefully these three games will turn into four and many more for the rest of the season."

Francis, who will face competition from Wales star Dan Biggar at Saints next season, arrived at the club from Super Rugby side the Blues last summer.

He has had a tough time, with four separate injuries hampering his momentum, but he is finally getting a run in the team.

And he is learning all the time.

"It's minor things from a 10 in terms of game management being a little bit different here and just the way the game is played," Francis said.

"At times, you've got to be aware of our forwards doing a lot of work, scrummaging for a long time, big lineouts, big mauls like they were on Saturday.

"Their legs are getting heavy and for them to look up and be in the right parts of the field is key for them and it's about me keeping them in the right spots."