Alex Waller has praised Alex Corbisiero for fighting back from injury and is looking forward to renewing his friendly rivalry with the England prop.
Corbisiero is not expected to be available for Sunday’s game against London Irish, but is said to be targeting the trip to Bath five days later.
The 25-year-old has not played for Saints since the defeat to Castres in the Heineken Cup back in October.
In his absence, Waller and his brother Ethan have stepped up to the plate, putting in a string of commendable performances.
And Waller is looking forward to having even more competition in the loosehead department when Corbisiero makes his long-awaited comeback.
“Alex has worked very hard to get back fit and that’s a credit to him,” said Waller.
“Hopefully it’s a fair competition when he is back and we’ll have to see how it pans out.
“It’s only a good thing that there’s so much competition in the squad, everyone will work harder and that’s not just at loosehead.
“There’s numerous places where people are putting their hand up and it makes everyone work that little bit harder to keep their shirt.”
Next up for Waller and Saints is an Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday.
Irish smashed Newcastle 40-12 last weekend and will go into the game full of confidence, while Northampton have lost their past three league games.
“Looking at London Irish, they’ve got a big pack and some exciting backs,” Waller said.
“They function brilliantly and with the weather drying up it’s something they’ll enjoy.
“We’re going to have to be at our best and hopefully we can sort everything out.
“Irish have the capability to be very dangerous, but when we function we’re as good a team and we can put them under pressure. Sunday’s going to be interesting.
“Hopefully the weather is good and we can get a game of running rugby and show off our backs and our mobile forwards and hopefully fly into them and get a good result.”