James Haskell says Alex Mitchell's showing for England against the Barbarians on Sunday was 'pretty special'.
Haskell was in attendance at Twickenham as he was working as a pundit for Sky Sports.
And he was impressed with what he saw from scrum-half Mitchell, with whom he played at Saints last season.
But there was some bad news as Mitchell was forced off with an injury during the second half of the 51-43 England success.
"I've just seen him (Mitchell) on crutches, which is not great, and hopefully it won't be too bad, but I thought he was fantastic," Haskell said.
"Cobus Reinach has been unbelievable at Northampton this year and Alex Mitchell, like Lewis Ludlam and a few others, started out in the wilderness.
"The club were taking a chance on him and he's stepped up as the next cab on the rank and has delivered.
"He beautifully took an interception, which was very Cobus-esque, and all day he added pace.
"He's got that ability to beat defenders and, for me, he was pretty special."
Teimana Harrison also impressed with an all-action display against the Barbarians, while Ehren Painter was another Saints starter and Paul Hill got some game time from the bench.
There was plenty of other Northampton representation with Taqele Naiyaravoro producing a big performance for the Barbarians, scoring the final try of the game in trademark fashion.
Phil Dowson was England forwards coach on the day, with the team managed by former Saints boss Jim Mallinder.
Lewis Ludlam also got a taste of the action as, having trained with the team during the week, he was utilised as a water carrier and to pass on instructions from the sidelines.