After a turbulent six months, back rower Tom Pearson admits he’s found his feet at Northampton Saints after making his second appearance at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday.
The 23-year-old announced himself to the Gardens crowd in fine form, playing his part in Saints’ 43-42 win over Bath Rugby before grabbing two of Saints’ 12 tries and a Player of the Match medal as the men in Black, Green and Gold ended their Premiership Rugby Cup campaign with an 82-12 win over Doncaster Knights last weekend.
And while attentions are turning towards the upcoming Gallagher Premiership season – that begins for Saints up at Sale Sharks on Sunday (15 October, kick-off: 1.30pm) – Pearson says that those back-to-back victories will put Saints in good stead as the embark on the league season.
“We have had a couple of mixed results through the early season,” said Pearson. “So to put a stamp down at home is something we really wanted to do and looking at the score-line [from last week], we definitely did that.
“One thing we’ve been trying to implement a little bit more over the last few weeks and especially after the first half of last week is our physicality in our own 22. We were also strong on our own set piece and we kept a pretty physical Doncaster team out which is very pleasing.”
Having joined Saints over the summer after London Irish’s sad demise, Pearson’s whirlwind of a summer saw him head straight into England camp – earning a debut cap against Wales in Cardiff – before arriving in Northampton at the start of September.
Despite experiencing so much turbulence, the young back rower has taken it all in his stride and is now ready to kick on in a Saints shirt.
“The brand of rugby we play is very similar to that of London Irish which has really helped me to transition here which is great. The lads here have also been great.
“It was quite turbulent for a while. I moved house and everything changed in the space of a week so I didn’t have a base for a while. But it’s brilliant to now be settled and have played a few games.”Tom Pearson
“I really enjoyed [being with England]. It was great as I had never been in a World Cup preparation before so it was great to train with the calibre of players, especially in the back row. Guys like Courtney [Lawes] and [Lewis] Ludlam that will link up with us later on in the season were great to work with and I learnt a lot. I’m now trying to bring those learnings to Saints for this season.”
But with the Premiership campaign just around the corner, Pearson’s sights are firmly set on a trip to the Salford Community Stadium – with the challenge of taking on last season’s Premiership finalists in Sale one he is relishing.
Pearson said: “Physicality and defending have been top of our list of work ons over pre-season and Sale away in the first week will be a real tester for us to see where we are at.
“I’m very excited about it because if we can get it right and match them physically, I think we could get a good win in Salford which is not easy to do. It’s a great place to start for our squad.”