Tom Stephenson played a full 80 minutes on Monday as the Wanderers beat Gloucester United © www.atsportphoto.com
Rugby News Stephenson ‘buzzing’ for packed Gardens experience
Having made his first team debut for the Saints in last year’s home LV= Cup clash with Harlequins, Saints centre Tom Stephenson is eager for another taste of the action when Gloucester come to Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday afternoon.
“Last year was a great experience for me to get my first appearance in the first team but obviously this year I’m more determined to get the win,” the 19-year-old told SaintsTV.
“It’s a hard experience and certainly a bit nerve racking, but playing in front of a big home crowd – there’s no better experience is there? Saturday at Franklin’s Gardens looks like it’s going to be pretty packed again so I’m buzzing for it and I think most of the boys are.”
Stephenson spent the summer with England Under-20 during their triumphant Junior World Championship campaign and has had little time to pause for breath in 2013. But after hitting the ground running with the Wanderers, the Academy graduate could well get his chance on Saturday afternoon, along with a number who have impressed under the Monday Night Lights.
He insists, however, that whoever plays will be ready for the challenge and certainly won’t underestimate a Gloucester side who will be looking to bounce back from a tough fortnight of results.
“I think throughout the squad this year there’s a great cohesion. Dylan’s done a great job as captain to instil that mentality into the squad off the pitch and on it we all tend to play well together. There’s no excuse for us not to gel together well as a team but I think that this Saturday will be a good test for us.
“They’ve not had the best couple of weeks so they’ll be looking to put that behind them and put a real marker down this Saturday to get back to winning ways. We’re expecting a typical, hard Gloucester side to come out and it won’t be an easy game in any shape or form.”
Tickets for the Saints' LV= Cup opener are still available, but selling fast, with England v Argentina being shown around the Gardens before the 5pm kick off. Enjoy an afternoon of double rugby at the Gardens from 2:30pm and book your ticket online by CLICKING HERE and selecting Print@Home to save on fees!