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Consistency and commitment earns Sanderson a Saints contract

Consistency and commitment earns Sanderson a Saints contract

Northampton Saints today announced that Dan Sanderson has been awarded with a contract until the end of the 2010/11 season.

Sanderson caught the eye in the LV= Cup Round 1 draw at Saracens. But it is just the latest step that has seen the 26-year-old lock rise up the league ladder from Midlands One East to the verge of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Twelve months ago Sanderson was on the books of Derby RFC, playing the likes of Old Northamptonians, Leighton Buzzard and Dunstablians. But after being introduced to the Saints by Academy manager Alan Dickens in early 2010 Sanderson played ‘A’ League rugby for the Wanderers and spent the summer combining training with the Saints first team with his job as a plasterer.

As well as playing Wanderers rugby again in the early part of the 2010/11 season Sanderson has gained Championship experience with Birmingham and Solihull, for whom he scored the clinching try in the Bees’ 35-33 win at Bristol.

And despite now having his Saints debut under his belt, Sanderson still quite cannot believe how quickly his rugby career has blossomed.

“It’s all come as a bit of a surprise,” he said. “I’ve certainly fallen into it. I was playing for Derby and joking around with Alan Dickens about playing for the Wanderers. He got me down here and it’s all gone from there. I’d certainly not considered rugby as a career up until that point.

“It’s been a lot harder than I expected, but all of the lads have made me feel welcome and at home, especially Paul Diggin, who’s put a roof over my head! Alan and Mark Hopley have given me a lot of feedback and I get comments from Jim and Nobby as well.

“I was really excited to make my debut, and felt honoured to be trusted with the chance. I’d hoped I might get on the bench in the LV= Cup, but I didn’t expect to get a full 80 minutes.

“I’ve got a contract, but now I know I have to prove my worth.”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that the contract reflected the hard work that Sanderson had put in over the past few months.

“Dan has shown his commitment to developing his rugby by combining his job with his training but it is not just that which has earned him a contract,” Mallinder said. “He has talent as well, which he has shown consistently both in the Wanderers and with Birmingham and Solihull.

“Now with the contract he has time to apply himself full-time on the training pitch and in the gym and we will be looking for him to improve even further over the next few months.”
 

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