'Brilliant' season so far for Saints hooker Fish

James Fish has impressed for Saints this season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
James Fish has impressed for Saints this season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

James Fish is making the most of a 'brilliant' breakthrough season at Saints.

The hooker had only featured seven times for the first team prior to the current campaign, with all of those appearances coming from the bench.

But he has started eight matches this season, adding a further six replacement appearances to his tally.

The 22-year-old has grabbed a couple of tries in the process, adding to the 2018 pre-season campaign when he scored six in just three matches.

And Fish, who signed a new two-year deal at Saints earlier this season, said: "Personally this season has been brilliant.

"I've played a lot of first-team rugby, whether that's due to injuries - Mikey (Haywood) has taken a bad one - and me and Reece (Marshall) have had a lot of opportunities.

"Boydy (boss Chris Boyd) has put a lot of trust in us.

"We've got a lot of strength in our position and we're pretty happy with that."

Fish is now preparing to take the next step in his Saints progression as he looks to help see off Newcastle Falcons in Saturday's Premiership Rugby Cup semi-final at Franklin's Gardens.

"All the boys are excited," said the Derby-born forward.

"We've had a week off to refresh, some boys have been away and we're ready to go again now.

"It's been pretty full on so far this season and last week was just a chance to wind down and come back feeling refreshed, mentally as well as physically.

"To get a chance to switch off for a few days makes you ready to come back in.

"We've had a good few days' of training and the boys are looking sharp."

The Premiership Rugby Cup has been particularly productive for Saints, who have blooded plenty of young players this season.

And Fish said: "This competition has given us a great chance.

"A lot of players have come in and it's good to have rotation and show the depth of the squad to see how far we've come.

"I've gained experience playing at this level.

"I hadn't done it much before and I've almost been thrown in at the deep end, which I've found very helpful."

And Saints are now be desperate to make it to a cup final.

"There's three trophies up for grabs and we're in the running for all of them," Fish said.

"It's definitely down to squad depth that we are still involved in everything.

"We train together as a whole squad all week and everyone's ready to step in if an injury or niggle happens."