Jim Mallinder declared himself ‘delighted’ with the debut of James Wilson in Saints’ bonus-point win against Worcester on Saturday.
Wilson was making his first start for the club since joining in the summer following a spell at French side Bourgoin.
He had big boots to fill as he was replacing England star Ben Foden, who is out for 12 weeks with an ankle ligament injury, at full-back.
But Wilson looked more than capable of gracing the Franklin’s Gardens turf in the coming weeks, putting in a fine showing as Saints sealed a 37-31 success against the Warriors.
“I think James had a really good debut,” said Saints boss Mallinder. “We’re delighted for him and he is a quality player. He’s got a good kicking game, exciting in attack and good under the high ball.
“It’s always disappointing to lose someone like Ben Foden but I think we’ve got a very good replacement.”
Should he continue to impress, Wilson will be a regular fixture at full-back for the rest of the year, with Foden out for the long-term.
Mallinder has confirmed his first-choice 15 will have an operation on Tuesday to rectify the ankle problem picked up in the win at Bath less than two weeks ago.
“Ben is going to have the operation on Tuesday,” he said. “We’re waiting for the swelling to go down and then he’ll have it on Tuesday and get on the road to recovery.”
Meanwhile, Mallinder is confident George Pisi won’t face a spell on the sidelines after the centre was taken off during the second half of Worcester clash.
“He just picked up a bit of a bang on his shoulder so hopefully he’ll be fine,” said Mallinder.