Doran-Jones: Haywood and Waller will be ‘awesome’ for Saints

BRIGHT FUTURE - Paul Doran-Jones (left) packed down with Mike Haywood and Alex Waller on Saturday (Picture: Linda Dawson)
BRIGHT FUTURE - Paul Doran-Jones (left) packed down with Mike Haywood and Alex Waller on Saturday (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Paul Doran-Jones believes Mike Haywood and Alex Waller will become ‘awesome’ players for Saints.

The 27-year-old packed down alongside the prodigious pair last weekend as Northampton lost 31-30 to Harlequins in the LV= Cup clash at Franklin’s Gardens.

The result of the match didn’t reflect the dominance Saints held in the scrum as they slaughtered the Premiership champions’ second-string pack.

Hooker Haywood didn’t enjoy as good a game as he had the week before at Leicester, but there were still signs of his potential.

And last season’s young player of the year Waller, who at 22 is two years older than Haywood, also appears to have a bright future.

“They’re not young lads any more,” said former Gloucester tighthead Doran-Jones. “You forget their age. They show real maturity do Waller and Mikey.

“They’re telling me what they want from me and that’s great to hear when you’re tiring.

“They’re not young lads, they’re quality players and they’re going to develop and grow into awesome first-team players.”

Doran-Jones was delighted to be handed a start last weekend and is attempting to stake his claim for a first-team place when the Premiership action returns next weekend.

But he knows he’s got a real battle on his hands, with South Africa star Brian Mujati standing in his way.

“When you’ve got such a quality tighthead as Brian it’s more a case of keeping us both fresh so I’m not too worried at the moment,” he said.

“It’s great to be playing and putting pressure on the man in front of me and hopefully I’ll be in the shake up for the Premiership games.

“Last Saturday was half of it and I’ll have to improve on in this weekend.”