Phil Dowson says he has not been surprised by Sam Dickinson’s rise to prominence at Saints.
Dickinson was named player of the month for September thanks to a series of barnstorming displays, including a man of the match showing on debut against Exeter Chiefs.
The 28-year-old No.8 has been inspired by last season’s injury woes, which saw him unable to play a first-team game due to an arm injury sustained before leaving Rotherham Titans last summer.
But he has bounced back in style and will be gunning for Saracens on Saturday after being given a well-earned rest against Ospreys last weekend.
And Dowson said: “I’ve been impressed but not surprised by Sam because last year whenever I went into the gym to do extras he was always there working hard.
“I knew when he came back he was hungry and he’d been pushed that whole year. That year will have cemented his mental strength and he’s a tough character anyway.
“He was determined to come back and make a point and he’s done that in spades. He’s been outstanding.
“When Tom Wood first came he was outstanding and people weren’t used to the level he brought. That pushes Calum (Clark) and myself on and now Sam’s taken that step and there’s always guys pushing.
“Teimana Harrison has been brilliant for the Wanderers, Ben Nutley as well so it’s always an environment where people are going hard and it keeps everyone fresh.”