Saints Q&A: Alex Moon

Alex Moon is staying at Saints
Alex Moon is staying at Saints

In the week he signed his first senior contract at Saints, we sit down with talented young lock Alex Moon to talk about life at Franklin's Gardens.

Alex, you're the 10th re-signing at Saints so far this season, and you're all Academy graduates...

"Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) sat down with me and said you've got the opportunity to potentially be around the same group of lads for 10 years if all goes well, you've all grown up together, you're all best mates with each other and you're all showing me you can play Premiership rugby. He said the chance to stay together as a group of mates is massive and that was a big selling point for me to stay here."

A lot of the players who have re-signed now have deals that run until 2021. Why do you think that is?

"Boydy is giving us opportunities and we want to show commitment to the club by signing a multi-year deal but at the same time you also want the ability to be flexible. Some people could think we're comfortable if we sign a long-term deal but that's not our mentality at all. We're such a tight-knit group that we owe it to each other not to get comfortable and we owe it to each other to show up every training session and every game and just go for it."

It must be really exciting for you all because the quality of the players who are re-signing is high and there appears to be a very good young leadership group here?

"Particularly Fraser (Dingwall), Lewis (Ludlam) and (James) Grayson. Fraser is an awesome defensive leader and I was speaking to Andrew Kellaway, who says he sees a lot of the qualities Rob Horne had in him. He's not the biggest man but he is still very physical and he talks very well. As you can see with the captaincy of the Under-20s, they think Fraser is a leader as well and he's going to be a great leader for our side. Grayson is an attacking leader and he is able to pull the strings very well. He's a mini Stephen Myler in the making. And Lewis, from an emotional standpoint, is very good at talking. He gets you very fired up very quickly and he leads by example. He's been awesome this year, awesome last year and I love playing alongside Lewis because we've played together since schoolboy rugby in year three or year four so being alongside him is like home from home for me. It's good fun."

What do you think you need to work on?

"It's about getting involved as much as possible and getting back on my feet as quickly as I can. I need to get involved in the next phase or the phase after. Currently it takes me a phase or two to take into account where I am and where to get involved again. I need to be able to affect the play as fast as possible and that's what I'm aiming for."

Last time we spoke, you said you were studying. How's that going?

"I was studying to be a financial advisor but I didn't continue with that. I found I didn't enjoy it and it wasn't for me. What I enjoy is studying how to look after yourself off the pitch and I enjoy knowing as much as I can about that. We've got the S&C (strength and conditioning) department and physio department here and that's something that really interests me. I've always had a passion for it since I was young - I've been gyming since I was 13 years old - and I've always been trying to eat as clean as I can so that is something I'm definitely going to have a look at in terms of where to study. I'm going to start it up in the next University year."

Your Saints team-mate James Haskell is obviously doing well in that field, isn't he?

"Absolutely, and seeing how successful he's been with it has actually pushed me to go and do it. I'd always thought it but never really acted upon it and seeing how well he's done makes your eyes light up. It seems like there is a big market there. I actually went home and my mum's got both of his books, and now I've said that I don't want to give him the satisfaction of telling him personally!"

Back on the field, you've got a semi-final against Newcastle on Saturday. How much are you looking forward to it?

"For a lot of us, it's the first time we've been in a proper knock-out game in men's rugby. It's awesome and we've then got two home games (against Sale and Bath) in the Premiership so having that many home matches is great. Those two league games will be massive for us as well because we didn't finish the last Premiership block as we wanted. The games coming up are huge because they will have a massive impact on the table."

Winning trophies early on is obviously key for the young players, isn't it? The Wanderers have won a couple and it seems to be about building that trophy-winning mentality...

"You can see how teams who are used to winning trophies deal with situations compared to teams who have not been in that situation before. I'm a massive American football fan and in the Superbowl on Sunday you could see how the Patriots, who have been there year in, year out, knew how to win in that situation. You see in the changing room after that they're barely celebrating because it's another win - win No.6 - while the LA Rams just froze in that moment. It's because the Patriots have got experience of being in that situation time and again, and Saracens are like that in rugby union. They've been in that situation so often, they know what they're doing. Teams who are not used to those situations have to try to find their feet so getting into these (knockout) situations is good for us and we've got to keep putting ourselves in this position. It will pay dividends further down the line when we're in a Premiership semi-final. We'll have been in the situation before and we'll know what we're doing."