Jim Mallinder says he is delighted for Luther Burrell after seeing the centre shine in Saints’ win at London Welsh on Sunday.
Burrell scored two tries, the second of which secured a bonus point for Northampton, in the 31-14 win at the Kassam Stadium.
The former Sale Sharks player, who moved to Saints last summer, put in a performance packed with power and pace to help his side cement their place in the Premiership top four.
And Mallinder expressed his satisfaction with the player who had gone off the boil slightly after making a strong start to life at Franklin’s Gardens.
“I’m delighted for him really,” said the Northampton director of rugby. “He started the season very well for us, but he’s not been in the team most recently.
“But he stepped in on Sunday and showed what he can do. He’s a very big, powerful lad, quick and he’s got some good skills as well.”
Another man to make a huge impression in Sunday’s success was Tom May, who came off the bench midway through the first half and went on to score two tries.
The 34-year-old rolled back the years, showing his speed to scorch past the Welsh defence and wrestle back the momentum for Saints, who had gone behind.
“Tommy May came on and did a cracking job,” said Mallinder. “I thought those two tries we got just before half-time came at a real good time.
“We were 6-0 up and then they got the interception try. It was something we talked about, with their linespeed they do take a few risks and a few gambles.
“To get those two tries was important and the second one from Tommy May was a really good try.”
May came into the action after George Pisi was taken off with an injury, while Samu Manoa was also forced off early.
Mallinder has confirmed both players have suffered hamstring injuries, but didn’t appear too concerned, especially in the case of Manoa.
“He (Pisi) has tweaked his hamstring so we’ll have to look at that,” he said. “Samu is fine. Again he had a little tweak of his hamstring, but that (substitution) was precautionary.”