Talented scrum-half Mitchell ready to make his mark at Saints

Alex Mitchell made his Saints debut after coming off the bench in the defeat to Saracens at Twickenham in September (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Alex Mitchell made his Saints debut after coming off the bench in the defeat to Saracens at Twickenham in September (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

There are high hopes for Alex Mitchell at Franklin's Gardens.

And during the next two weeks, the talented young scrum-half will look to show exactly why.

Mitchell was a member of the England squad that reached the final of the Under 20's Rugby World Cup in Georgia during the summer.

England were eventually eviscerated in the showpiece, losing 64-17 to an incredibly strong New Zealand side.

But Mitchell could take plenty of credit from the tournament.

And having impressed during the Wanderers' flawless start to their defence of the Prem Rugby A League crown, the sparky 20-year-old is now ready to step up for Saints.

Jim Mallinder's men travel to Exeter Chiefs for their Anglo-Welsh Cup opener on Saturday.

And Mitchell is looking forward to playing a part in the game at Sandy Park.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Mitchell said. "Hopefully I'll get an opportunity.

"There are a lot of opportunities for the younger lads to step up and make their mark down in Exeter.

"I've had a few chances on the bench and I'd like to push for more.

"I've just got to put my hand up when I do play and show I can do a job in the first team.

"We do look forward to the Anglo-Welsh Cup. We speak about it all the time because it's a chance for us to show what we can do.

"It's about trying to play our game that we play in the A League.

"We're five from five in that competition and we've really enjoyed it.

"We're doing similar things to what the first team are doing and we're definitely looking to get to the final of the A League.

"Every game, we think we can get a five-pointer and we're quite confident.

"It's a really good mentality with the Wanderers."

But while the Wanderers have been doing extremely well, claiming wins in all five of their matches this season, Saints have struggled of late.

They head to Sandy Park on the back of a four-match losing streak, but that doesn't tilt Mitchell's view of the club whose Academy he joined from Sale back in 2015.

"This is a great club," Mitchell said.

"I was really happy I signed here and hopefully I can get a first-team spot in the future.

"I've got to keep working hard and I'm working on a bit of everything.

"I've been working a lot on my box-kicking with Cobus (Reinach), Groomy (Nic Groom) and Kess (Tom Kessell) so it's been good."

On the help South African duo Reinach and Groom have given him, Mitchell added: "They're really good.

"They take me under their wing and they are great players, great athletes as well.

"They're competing against each other and I'm trying to push them as well.

"I'm really enjoying their company.

"We're all quite buzzy and we all like to jump around the pitch and bring a lot of energy."

Mitchell made his Saints debut as a replacement in the Aviva Premiership opening-day defeat to Saracens at Twickenham.

The club were confident of pushing him onto the big stage after his exploits for England Under-20s during the summer.

And Mitchell said: "It was good experience out in Georgia, especially in the final against the All Blacks - they showed how great they are.

"It was good to be around the lads in camp and it's a great feeling to get a call-up.

"It's great to get Under-20s experience and I'm trying to push on."