A chilly English Christmas isn’t exactly James Wilson’s cup of tea but the versatile Northampton Saints back admits sealing vital Aviva Premiership Rugby points over the festive period was his main priority.
New Zealander Wilson is more used to barbeques than bitter temperatures back home, but after bearing the gift of three successive league wins against Leicester Tigers, Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons, the 31-year-old isn’t complaining.
It leaves the Saints six points clear of Bath Rugby at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.
And Wilson says stocking up on points over the winter could have its benefits come the end of the season.
“It’s always a bit of a rush at this time of year, but it’s been great to get some points on the board and we’ve got to be happy with the way things have gone,” he said.
“There have been some tough games in that period, starting off with Tigers at home, and then the huge game at Twickenham against Quins. The main thing has been getting the results.
“Then to have Newcastle, playing the way they have been, last time out was another tough game they came at us but again we got the points we wanted and we move on.
“Christmas is a tough one for me, but I’m used to it now. All my family live back at home, so I speak to them all over the phone or on Skype. I have a couple of nieces and nephews.
“Everyone back there is happy and enjoying the hot weather. I miss the weather – Christmas back home is about barbeques and the sun, but I’m made to feel at home by the lads as we’re such a close unit at Saints.”
Wilson, though, is more than content to stick it out in England – as proven by his signing of a two-year contract extension earlier in December.
And having played all across the backline for Saints this term, he’s content with his place in director of rugby Jim Mallinder’s plans.
“It was a really easy decision to make, it was pretty plain sailing and it’s fantastic news to be signed up until 2017,” he added.
“I love it here, I’m really enjoying my rugby at the moment, and the way we play in particular suits me down to the ground.”
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