Fit-again Saints star Freeman aims to finish season with a flourish

Tommy Freeman describes the past few months as ‘a roller coaster’.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 4:16 pm

And the talented Saints full-back couldn’t be more relieved to finally be back doing what he loves.

Freeman suffered a hamstring in England training back in January, ruling him out of the Six Nations and club action.

But he was able to return last Saturday, playing 56 minutes against Saracens in a 46-35 Premiership Rugby Cup win at Stonex Stadium.

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Tommy Freeman

And the 21-year-old was all smiles after the game as he reflected on a successful comeback appearance.

“The last eight weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for me," Freeman said.

“I went into the England camp and had a bit of a hamstring tear and then I had a funeral not long ago with a friend passing away.

“It’s just been awesome to get back out there doing the thing I love and hopefully I can keep doing it.

“It’s been difficult to be out because I had a good run of games last year, which was really nice to get used to.

“Then suddenly being taken away from that, having niggle after niggle, they weren’t too serious injuries but those little setbacks aren’t ideal.

“You just want to be out there running about with the boys and it’s frustrating but I’m happy to be back and the body is feeling good.

“The focus is now all on the Prem for us and we’re going to go for it.

“We’re going to give everything in every game and we’ll leave everything out there.”

It wasn’t so long ago that Freeman was the fearless young full-back making his way into the Saints first team.

Now though, he is an England player with 27 Saints appearances under his belt, watching on as other Academy graduates start to take their first steps in the first team.

Freeman was replaced last Saturday by 19-year-old full-back George Hendy, who went on to score two blistering tries in 24 minutes on the field.

“I’m meant to be the young boy!” Freeman said, laughing.

“We definitely had a lot of young lads playing and full credit to players like George (Patten), Frankie (Sleightholme) and the others.

“We had George Hendy, Geordie Irvine, and they definitely pulled their weight and really helped us out there.

“It really opened up towards the end and I would have quite liked to be on at that point, but Hendy carved up.

“He showed us his pace and what he’s all about, which is really good to see.

“It was lots of fun.”

With George Furbank, Freeman and Hendy to call upon, Saints have a stable of hugely talented full-backs nurtured in their own Academy.

So just why are they producing so many good young 15s these days?

“I can’t really say why it is,” Freeman said.

“We’ve got a bit of speed and strength about us and I think that’s the way it’s going.

“You can see with Freddie Steward at England that he’s a tall lad and we’re all tall lads.”