Saints have hit the jackpot with Freeman

Eleven, fourteen, fifteen, twenty three.

By Tom Vickers
Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:32 am
Tommy Freeman
Tommy Freeman

No, those are not some of the winning lottery numbers for the weekend ahead, but for Saints they have been worn by a player they will feel they have won the jackpot with.

Because since returning from injury in a Premiership Rugby Cup win at Saracens back on March 19, Tommy Freeman has continued to remind everyone of his class.

The 21-year-old has scored four tries in six appearances since recovering from the hamstring injury he sustained in England training back in January.

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Whether it has been from the bench, from the wing or from full-back, Academy product Freeman has excelled.

And his fantastic form, and ability to find his way over the try line, has proved so key to Saints' late-season surge.

The black, green and gold have racked up five successive bonus-point wins in the Gallagher Premiership, with Freeman playing a part in four of those.

He helped to spark a sensational comeback at Bath last month, scoring after slaloming his way through the home defence.

And then he dotted down again in an equally incredible win against Harlequins just six days later.

Freeman has become a main man for Saints, who simply can't afford to leave him out of the team.

So when George Furbank is at full-back, Freeman is utilised on the wing.

And he is just loving been part of a play-off push that seemed unthinkable before his return to action a couple of months ago.

"The season is going on longer and longer but it's not too bad because we get a lot of rest and hopefully we can get a good result when we come back to it,” Freeman said.

"After the Quins game, a select few players were getting their treatment and the workload has been managed quite well, but it was a good result!

"We're battling quite hard at the moment because we know it's knockout rugby but it's been going well and I'm enjoying it.

"It's good to be able to finally string some games together and being back out there is where I'm happiest. Anyone would be with the way we're playing at the moment.”

Freeman has shown more than a few flashes of class since breaking into the Saints team in September 2019.

And he says the tuition of attack coach Sam Vesty has helped him to showcase his skills on the big stage.

"Vesty is one that says 'if Tommy is coached less, you get the most out of him',” Freeman explained.

“From a team perspective, there's loads I've got to do, but I'm best when I'm playing to my strengths and when I get given that freedom that's where I'm most relaxed.

"It means I'm calm and those little tricks and skills come off.”

If Saints are to maintain their title bid, Freeman will clearly be key.

And he can’t wait to get stuck in against Saracens and Newcastle Falcons in the coming weeks.

“It's really exciting and we're backing ourselves as we would,” he said.

"We've got Saracens, which is going to be a tough game, and Newcastle who can bring some real physicality.

“We're going to take it as it comes, work hard in the week and then hopefully come out with the result on the weekend.”