Ethan Waller has had to bide his time at Northampton Saints but the loosehead prop insists he is ready to give Jim Mallinder selection headaches this season.
The 23-year-old has had to battle older brother Alex and British & Irish Lion Alex Corbisiero for game time at loosehead prop, and as the least experienced member of the trio, started at the bottom of the hierarchy.
Between international selection, injuries and rotation, Waller has featured regularly over the last three seasons, but this weekend’s clash with Bath Rugby will mark only his second Aviva Premiership Rugby start.
And with the big games continuing over December and into 2016, Waller is eager to take every opportunity given to him by the coaching staff.
“I just want to keep playing as much as possible,” he said.
“Last season I played a few games off the bench up until Christmas, and then hardly had a game afterwards.
“There’s obviously a lot of competition in my position but I’m going to keep working week in, week out to try and get more games.
“I want the coaches to have a real selection headache when everyone is available. The aim is to keep getting games when everyone is fit.”
Saints picked up an invaluable win over Gloucester Rugby last time out, and after some good form in Europe, appear to be hitting their stride.
This weekend they travel to Bath to take on last year’s runners-up, and Waller is optimistic that the team is turning the corner after a slow start to the season.
“We didn’t start the season as we would have liked, everyone admits that, but we do feel things are improving,” he added.
“There can’t be any complacency though and there’s not much chance of that with a game against Bath.
“Their pack is doing really well so we know we’re going to have to be strong up front.
“But then you look at the talent in their backs and we’re going to have to be very careful about that when they get the ball.”
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