'A true Saints man' - Dowson salutes retiring prop Waller

Phil Dowson has hailed 'true Saints man' Alex Waller following the news that the club legend will call time on his playing career at the end of the season.
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Waller is Saints' record appearance holder in the professional era, and the eighth-most capped player in the club's history, having made 370 appearances in a Northampton shirt to date.

The Kettering-born loosehead graduated from Saints’ Academy to make his senior debut in 2009, writing his name into Northampton’s history books after scoring the extra-time try which sealed the Premiership title for the black, green and gold in 2014.

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Waller captained the club for three seasons from 2018 to 2021, lifting the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2019, but after 15 years on the field, the prop has decided that now is the right time to call it a day.

Alex Waller (photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)Alex Waller (photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)
Alex Waller (photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)

And boss Dowson, who played alongside Waller for six seasons before returning to Saints to coach the prop in 2017, was full of praise for his former team-mate as he calls time on his playing career.

Dowson said: “Alex has been a constant at this club since I joined; he started off as an Academy kid and he has matured into a real stalwart here, breaking records for his appearances.

“He’s grown up in this environment and spent what will feel like his whole life at the club – he is a true Saints man in that respect.

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“I count him as a good friend, we have always had a laugh and had a relationship where we can be honest with each other.

"One of the things I was so grateful for when I came back as a coach, going from playing alongside people to coaching them, was that people like Alex were so open and positive with it.

“He is not only a very good player but more importantly a very good person. He cares about his team-mates, he cares about this club, he cares about the game. You can tell that in the way that he plays, and what he’s put himself through over the years.

“He’ll be a big miss for us as a squad and we’ll welcome him back any time. But most importantly, we wish him, and his family, all the best with what comes next.”