Brian Smith hailed ‘man’s man’ Shane Geraghty after London Irish’s spirited showing against Saints on Sunday.
Geraghty, who left Northampton for Brive in 2011, put in an impressive performance, bouncing back from an early George Pisi piledriver to pull the strings for Irish.
The 27-year-old grabbed a try as his team fought back from 29-0 down to get to within eight points of Saints before a late Alex Waller try ensured the game ended 36-21.
And Irish boss Smith (pictured) was delighted with what he saw from Geraghty, who suffered some sickness after Pisi’s savage, but fair blow.
“Shane got cleaned up with Pisi nailing him in the first half,” said Smith. “He came out of the line. We had a good look at the tackle and it wasn’t high or late, it was a good shot.
“Shano was quite ill. He was throwing up for the next five or 10 minutes on the park and we kept a good eye on him and suggested he doesn’t eat quite as much lunch and doesn’t have shrimp for lunch.
“It was a good shot and it really rattled his cage, but he’s a tough kid, a tough competitor and he obviously masterminded the comeback.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Shane. He was a London Irish Academy player and I was delighted to work with him at Irish and in the England setup.
“He went to Northampton for a couple of seasons and then off to France, but he’s come back and he’s really grown up. He’s a man’s man now.
“He’s a terrific character and even when he came off, the Northampton fans showed their respect for him. They’re a knowledgable rugby crowd and he deserved an honourable mention, even though he didn’t get the man of the match prize.”