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Hutchinson: There's more to come

From preseason injury woes to selection in a World Cup training squad, it's been a year of progress for not only Northampton Saints but centre Rory Hutchinson too. 

​Making his first senior appearance of the 2018/19 season in December, after returning from a knee injury he picked up in preseason, Hutchinson notched up 17 appearances in Black, Green and Gold this term as Northampton made their way to the knock out stages of every senior competition.

"I don't think many people thought we could even get to a semi-final so everyone's really proud of the team."

Rory Hutchinson

Scoring six tries and setting up many more, the centre's style of play caught the eyes of Saints supporters and pundits alike. 

And while the 23-year-old was disappointed to end his domestic campaign one step shy of the Gallagher Premiership Final as Saints fell to Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, Hutchinson was quick to note the side's improvement on last season.

"It's obviously disappointing getting to a semi-final and losing but we've come a long way since last year," Hutchinson commented. 

"I don't think many people thought we could even get to a semi-final so everyone's really proud of the team, how far we've come in just one year. Hopefully there's more to come."

Personal achievements for the centre have come thick and fast this season; he was named Gallagher Premiership Player of the Month for February, put pen to paper on a new Saints contract in March, and just last week was named Saints' Breakthrough Player of the Season. 

But the goal for the young centre was always to get back into Saints' side and after cementing his place in Chris Boyd's line-up, Hutchinson earned recognition on the international stage as he was named in Scotland's Rugby World Cup training squad.

"Obviously there's been ups and downs and lots of frustration at the start but I've really enjoyed being back and being with the team," Hutchinson continued.

"I really missed it at the beginning of the season so it's really nice to be back part of a team that's moving forwards. 

"I'm really looking forward to linking up with some old faces at Scotland. I'll make sure I get some time off but then I'll give it my best shot in the summer - that's all I can ask for really."