Tuitavake tips Francis to be a big hit at Saints

Piers Francis kicked five conversions for Saints on Saturday (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
Piers Francis kicked five conversions for Saints on Saturday (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Nafi Tuitavake feels Piers Francis has brought a potent combination of Super Rugby style and English steel to Saints.

Francis made his first appearance in the green, black and gold on Saturday, coming off the bench during the second half of the 71-21 evisceration of the Dragons.

Nafi Tuitavake now feels settled at Saints

Nafi Tuitavake now feels settled at Saints

The fly-half, who won his first two Test caps during England's series win in Argentina in June, has joined Saints from New Zealand outfit the Blues.

And Gravesend-born Francis immediately looked at home, landing five conversions against the Dragons.

"He can only get better because he's talented," said Tuitavake, who scored one of Saints' 11 tries last weekend.

"He's played a lot of footy and just coming away from that England squad campaign he's got a lot of experience and he's someone who is fresh.

"Because he's been here before he went to Super Rugby (Francis has previously played for Edinburgh and Doncaster), he knows the style here in the UK and he's familiar with the Super style so he can pick and choose what he brings to the team."

Tuitavake was a new boy at Saints for the 2016/17 campaign, having moved to the club from French second division side Narbonne last September.

But he is now fully settled in Northampton, having enjoyed a strong second half of the previous season.

"I do feel really settled now I've had a season under my belt," said the 28-year-old.

"I'm comfortable with the boys and I really feel at home so it's nice."