Saints sign Saxon Wood from Worcester

Northampton Saints have announced the signing of 23-year-old Tom Wood from near-neighbours Worcester Warriors.


The back rower, who is equally at home on the flank and at number eight, has been one of the Warriors’ stand-out performers since he burst into the first team in the summer of 2007.


To date he has played 54 times for Worcester and scored four tries, three of which have come this season. Born in Coventry, Wood learned the game at Barkers Butts RFC before being snapped up by Worcester’s Academy, and his rugby education includes a spell in New Zealand playing for North Otago.


This week Wood was also drafted into the England Saxons squad for the coming games against Ireland and Italy.


Standing at 6’4″ and weighing in at 105kg, Wood is an imposing presence on the field and director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that he will be a good addition to the squad at Franklin’s Gardens.


“Tom is an excellent player,” he commented.

 

“He has plenty of Guinness Premiership and European experience, and because he is still a young man we believe he can improve and add to his game.

“The back row has been one of the most competitive areas of our squad over the past two years and having Tom here will mean that the standards will only go up.”


” We are building a squad that we want to be competitive at the top end of the Guinness Premiership for several years and Tom will be a big part of that.”


Wood will be joining a very competitive roster of back row players at Franklin’s Gardens, but he says that this is a massive motivation for him to improve his game.


“That’s part of the reason why I want to come,” he said.


“That’s the challenge, to improve my game. I’m naturally very competitive and believe I will fit into that environment. That was the big carrot for me in terms of signing. The main reason for coming is to be part of the competitive environment and hopefully be a part of the starting line-up.”


“Of course I will have international ambitions too, but my first motivation will be to get into the Saints first team.


“We’ve been very aware of how strong Northampton have been across the board and how fit they are across the 80 minutes, as we found out at Worcester this season. They’ve got the ability to play fast and put pressure on teams.”


“When you take a step back you have to admire how Northampton can step it up in the last few minutes and the confidence they have to step it up.


“I’d like to thank Worcester for everything they’ve done for me. I’ve been there a long time and they’ve played a huge role in my development, but when you look at this objectively this a massive and exciting opportunity that I felt too good to turn down.”

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