Ethan Waller has stressed his pride in his brother Alex earning an England Saxons start – and says he is now desperate to follow suit.
Alex Waller has impressed for Saints this season, stepping up in the absence of injured England and British & Irish Lions loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero.
His good form has been rewarded by the England coaches, who have named the 23-year-old in the Saxons starting 15 for Saturday’s game against Ireland Wolfhounds at Kingsholm.
And that means Ethan will get his chance at Saints, with a start against Newport Gwent Dragons in the LV= Cup beckoning this weekend.
The 21-year-old will aim to stake his claim for the Northampton No.1 shirt at Rodney Parade and is setting his sights on bettering his sibling’s achievements in the not too distant future.
“Al’s been sat on the bench for the last two or three years,” said Ethan. “He was sat behind Soane (Tonga’uiha) for a long time and he’s really had to bide his time to get this chance but he’s got it, he’s taken it with both hands and his form’s been pretty impressive this year.
“The fact that he’s got the Saxons now has laid down that marker for me. It’s just another thing I’ve got to try to match him and beat him on.
“He’s my older brother so he’s got a couple of years on me in playing and life, but we’re both fiercely competitive.
“He’ll tell you he’s better than me, I’ll tell you I’m better than him. We’re both supporting each other, no matter what happens.”
A number of fringe players and talented youngsters will get a shot at staking a claim for a Saints first-team place this weekend.
And Ethan admits he can’t wait to show the coaches what he’s made of.
“When Al told me he was going to get the Saxons call I got really excited about it because it meant I’d hopefully get a couple of starts and get the chance to show what I can do,” he said.
“I’m sure it’s the same throughout the camp. With all the internationals away, there’s people on the outskirts of the squad who will be chomping at the bit to take their chance.”