Northampton Saints fullback George Hendy has enjoyed a bright start to the 2023/24 campaign, scoring three tries in two games, and says he is determined to kick on and earn more first-team minutes this term.
The 20-year-old bagged a brace away at Bedford in Saints’ first game of the season and continued in the same try-scoring form against the Barbarians on Saturday afternoon at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, crossing the whitewash at the start of the second half.
Saints may not have picked up a win from those opening encounters, but Hendy insists there were some valuable experiences for some of the younger players in the squad who were able to pull on the Black, Green and Gold jersey.
He said: “There have been opportunities for lads who don’t normally get to wear the shirt consistently throughout the season.
“You may not get a long string of games togethe, so these first matches have been really exciting for a lot of the younger lads who have just come into the environment to all get together, represent the shirt, and just get some game time together and enjoy ourselves out there.”
Hendy made his Premiership debut for Saints against Bristol Bears at the back end of the 2021/22 season, coming off the bench in a 39-22 home victory.
Now going into his third term in the senior squad, he wants to fight for his place to become a more regular face in the matchday squad.
“I want to kick on and try to play as much as possible here. I spent most of last year at Bedford Blues and obviously had a great time, but I want to progress and play as much as I can in Black, Green and Gold.”George Hendy
“We’ll see how we do this year and just keep competing with other lads in my position. You’ve got the likes of James Ramm, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank and Ollie Sleightholme as well, so competition is good at the moment.
“Hopefully I can just put my name out there and get some games. Last year I was lucky enough to have a few Premiership games and that was just all about getting experience of playing at that level.
“A lot of the young lads play in the Prem Cup, but the step up to the Prem is something that’s just another level. So [it’s about] just getting used to that, learning off other people, learning off coaches, learning from your mistakes that you make because you’re going to make them.
“This year is just about kicking on as a player and like I said, just trying to get a nice string of games together and hopefully play some more Premiership action this year.”
And with the Premiership Rugby Cup starting this weekend, the fullback thinks Saints could have a successful campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve got a strong group of young lads, we’ve got some good talent in there and once we get some game time together we could be a really dangerous team.”George Hendy
“Hopefully we get to see that over the next five, six weeks and put some wins together.”
Saints’ first game in the competition sees them travel to Ealing Trailfinders on Sunday 9 September, kick-off is at 1pm (live on TNT Sports).