Jim Mallinder has backed Jamie Elliott to ensure Saints don’t miss George North in their Champions Cup quarter-final at Clermont on Saturday.
Elliott comes into the team in place of the Wales star, who has been advised to rest until the end of this month after being knocked unconscious in last Friday’s win against Wasps.
And Mallinder has full faith in North’s stand-in, with Elliott having played in some of Saints’ biggest wins in recent years.
The 22-year-old played a key role in the 2012 victory at Ulster and scored crucial tries in the 2013 Aviva Premiership play-off win at Saracens and the stunning success at Leinster later that year.
He was named man of the match in the brilliant Premiership victory at Bath in February, going on to be crowned Saints’ player of the month.
And Mallinder said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered about George North playing this weekend, but we are very, very fortunate that we’ve got some cracking wingers.
“We’ve got a lad called Jamie Elliott, who has been very, very good for us, not just this year but in previous years as well.
“Even though we will miss George North, I’m quite excited about having our other youngsters out there showing us what they can do.”