To call Sam Dickinson’s journey a rapid-rise would be an understatement.
In the space of 12 months the physical No.8 went from the doldrums of injury wilderness to Aviva Premiership champion, storming his way into England contention in the process.
After signing for the Saints in 2012, Sam was ruled out for a whole season with a broken arm suffered in his final game for Rotherham and at times feared he might never play the game again.
Fast forward to summer 2013 and after an impressive pre-season, he would make an emphatic comeback with a man of the match performance against Exeter Chiefs in the first game of the 2013/14 season.
A series of huge ball carrying displays quickly brought Sam onto the Premiership radar and the good news kept coming for the Lancashire-born forward as he was called up by England Saxons during the 2014 Six Nations.
A bullish cameo from the bench was his debut against the Irish Wolfhounds and a start against Scotland ‘A’ followed.
Singled out by the club as one to watch at the start of last season, Sam did not disappoint, playing 31 out of 39 games over the season and starting in both finals.