Jamie Elliott says Lions star George North has helped him raise his game at Saints this season.
Elliott started the campaign on the bench, but the young wing has returned to the first team with a bang in recent weeks.
He raced home for one of the tries of the season so far in the defeat at Gloucester last month, finishing off a move started by some stunning footwork from North.
And Elliott then returned the favour by teeing up the Welsh wizard for a score in the victory against Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens.
And it seems the impressive combination is not confined to the heat of battle.
“George has helped me raise my game,” said Elliott, who, at 21, is the same age as North. “He is a good lad and has more experience than me and he is always happy to share it.
“He is always willing to pass on advice, he is a down to earth guy, he is good to work with and I have enjoyed it so far.
“We brought in some real quality this year and there is some really strong competition for places and we are certainly stronger for it because everyone is training that little bit harder.”
Elliott and North will hope to help Saints shoot down French champions Castres at the Stade Pierre-Antoine on Saturday evening as they aim to get off to a winning start in this season’s Heineken Cup.
Northampton go into the game on the back of a hard-fought 19-19 draw at Leicester last weekend, losing a 10-point lead before holding on to claim two points.
And Elliott has urged his team-mates to put that game out of their minds as they look to pick up a crucial win on the continent.
“We didn’t quite manage to win last weekend but we can’t worry about that, it is about moving on and looking forward and next up is Castres which will be a tough game but one we are looking forward to,” he said.
“They are undefeated at home this season and the French champions, they will have some big lads up front and everything else that comes from being a good Top 14 side.
“But we are looking to bounce back from those last ten minutes against Leicester and it should be a good game.”