Northampton Saints signings “fitting in really well” says Hutchinson
It’s been all change at Northampton Saints this summer and centre Rory Hutchinson is confident the new-look squad can make a big impact in this year’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby.
The 22-year-old Scotland U20 international cut a frustrated figure at Franklin’s Gardens last campaign with injuries limiting his game time and the Saints finished ninth in the table.
Since last season, 18 players have departed the East Midlands club including Wales international George North, Ben Foden and the retiring Christian Day.
But with the introduction of former Hurricanes’ head coach Chris Boyd and exciting signings in the form of James Haskell, Ben Franks, Dan Biggar and Taqele Naiyaranovo, Hutchinson believes Northampton are in a great place.
He said: “There’s loads of fresh faces. It feels like a fresh start, plenty of new ideas and it feels really positive at the moment.
“The new signings are fitting in really well, the team is really close at the moment which is really good and I think we needed it after last year.
“The way we go around as professionals has changed. We have had different training ideas, a different pre-season and different aspects of the game have been brought in.”
😵What a tackle!
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) July 28, 2018
Cambridge-born Hutchinson has made 17 appearances for the Saints since making his debut against local rivals Leicester Tigers in 2015.
The former Shelford RFC player missed large parts of last season with a hip problem and hopes to make more of an impact on the first team in 2018 after leading the Northampton Saints 7s side to the quarter-finals of the Premiership Rugby 7s Cup last weekend.
Hutchinson’s men reached the last eight with a dramatic last gasp 22-20 victory over Gloucester Rugby, before bowing out at the last eight with a closely fought 17-10 loss to eventual finalists Wasps.
But the Northampton back remained positive despite the defeat, saying: “I was really chuffed with performance, we had a few unlucky plays and errors, but overall we had a great tournament.
“This competition gives us an early touch of the ball out on a gorgeous pitch and I am looking forward to the pre-season games and for the season to start.
“I want to hit the ground running this year. I was frustrated last year, especially after my injury. It’s a free for all so I am really looking forward to it.”