Dorian West has been impressed with Alex Waller's progression over the past few seasons © www.redhatphoto.com
Rugby News West: Waller has come on in leaps and bounds
Northampton Saints forwards coach Dorian West says that Alex Waller has improved immensely as a player in recent years.
Twenty-three-year-old Waller makes his 100th appearance in the black, green and gold in the LV= Cup opener against Gloucester this weekend, nearly four years to the day after his debut. This also came in the same competition in the win at the Liberty Stadium which set the Saints on the road to lifting the trophy.
The loosehead prop’s run of matches in the Saints first team is remarkable, with Waller having made an appearance in every match from the 2011 Heineken Cup final onwards.
And West says that he has come on in leaps and bounds since that Cardiff showcase.
“Alex is certainly one of our most improved players, and I’m delighted for him that he’s reached the hundred-appearance mark so quickly,” he commented. “Alex always had raw ability, but over the past four years he’s really worked on his technique and understanding of what it takes to be a top class prop.
“It is one of the most specialised positions on the field, and we saw in his performances recently against Adam Jones and Matt Stevens that Alex can now come out on top against some of the best tightheads in the country.
“It’s also especially pleasing to have Alex come through from the Saints Academy system, and because he’s been in a match day first team squad for so long it’s easy to forget that he’s just 23-years-old.
“He also knows that he’s still got a lot to learn, and we believe there’s a lot more to come from him in the future.”