Saints hooker Haywood’s pride in his derby performance

MAKING HIS MARK - Mike Haywood makes a break in Saints' defeat to Leicester Tigers at the weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)

MAKING HIS MARK - Mike Haywood makes a break in Saints' defeat to Leicester Tigers at the weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Mike Haywood says he was ‘very happy’ with how he performed in the east midlands derby on Saturday.

It was only the second time this season the 20-year-old, who is standing in for injured skipper Dylan Hartley, had been named in the Saints starting line-up.

Haywood’s only other other start came in the 39-17 horror show at London Irish, but he upped his game against Leicester Tigers.

The youngster put in an extremely positive performance, more than holding his own against opposite number, and a man 16 years his senior, Tigers hooker George Chuter.

And Haywood admits he was happy with how derby day went for him personally, even though Saints slipped to a 16-12 defeat against their bitter rivals.

“I was very happy,” he said. “The team played well, especially at scrum time, we really took it to them. There were some outstanding performances and it was a good team performance.

“It was very tough but we came good. Our defence was outstanding, but it was very physical.”

Haywood celebrates his 21st birthday on Saturday and he will hope to do so in style as Saints host Harlequins in the LV= Cup.

It will be another opportunity for the academy graduate to impress and he is looking forward to the run of games ahead.

“There are a lot of games coming up that the team are looking forward to winning, it’s not just me.

“We’ve got young lads coming through like Alex Day and Nuts (Ben Nutley) getting some game time so it’s good for us.”