Northampton Saints forwards coach Dorian West has paid tribute to Alex Waller, who becomes just the 56th player in the club’s history to hit 200 first team appearances when he runs out for tonight’s Aviva Premiership clash with Sale.
The 26-year-old loosehead prop has played all his senior rugby at Franklin’s Gardens having come through the Saints Academy system into the first team squad.
His debut came in the Anglo-Welsh Cup trip to the Ospreys in November 2009, and his consistency both of performance standards and fitness levels is reflected in Waller also holding the current record for the number of appearances in consecutive Aviva Premiership matches, 128, dating back to the start of the 2011/12 season.
In addition to reaching this significant milestone, Waller also went into Franklin’s Gardens folklore by scoring the try that clinched the Saints’ first Aviva Premiership title in 2014, and West says that the player should be proud of what he has achieved.
“Alex has been an outstanding player for us,” he says. “He wants to play, he wants to win, and he wants to give everything for the team. His mentality and positive attitude towards playing and training is outstanding and what we look for in players.
“He’s a great lad off the field as well, which is just as important, and it’s good to spend time with him.
“You can’t speak too highly of his durability, either. Reaching 200 appearances is a big achievement in any position, but the front row is a tough position to play and you get some knocks. But his body is designed to be a front rower and he does a great job.”