Club captain Teimana Harrison is backing fellow No.8 Tui Uru to become a regular fixture in the first-team reckoning at Northampton Saints in years to come.
Fiji-born back rower Uru played for National 2 South side Bury St Edmunds for two seasons before making the step up to the top level of English rugby with the men in Black, Green and Gold and signing in 2019.
He was regular member of the Eastern Counties set-up and played for Ipswich until 2017 – also representing England Counties at under-20s level in his fledgling career.
The No.8 represented the Wanderers on three occasions before joining Saints’ ranks full time, scoring an impressive try against Leicester Tigers in April 2019 and helping Northampton’s youngsters reach the Premiership Rugby Shield knock-out stages for the fourth consecutive season.
And Harrison’s hopes are high that 22-year-old Uru – who has spent time on loan with Championship club Nottingham this term – can eventually challenge for a starting spot at Saints.
“When he first showed up, he had come from Bury and he’s an exciting young player,” Saints’ co-captain said.
“The year before Tui came into the Academy, I remember him playing for the Wandies and his style of play suits us perfectly.”Teimana Harrison
“He loves playing that wide-open running game and he’s a powerful ball carrier with good skills.
“A little bit of time to mature into the role and he’ll be a regular in the first team, for sure.”
Harrison is one of the first names on the teamsheet at Saints and has made the No.8 jersey his own at Franklin’s Gardens in recent seasons – passing the 150-appearance mark for Northampton earlier this year.
But the five-time England international is always ready to welcome a challenge, with competition for places important and Uru one of the next cabs off the rank.
“As I’m getting older, the body needs a little bit more of a rest, but I’ll keep going as best I can,” Harrison added.
“As long as Boydy [Chris Boyd] keeps picking me, I’m always keen to get out there and play.”