Artemyev tips Saints youngsters for the top

ONE TO WATCH - Matt Williams (Picture: Linda Dawson)
ONE TO WATCH - Matt Williams (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Vasily Artemyev has tipped teen talents Tom Collins and Howard Packman to become complete players for Saints.

Artemyev played his last game for Northampton on Monday night as he lined up on the wing for the Wanderers in the 29-20 Aviva ‘A’ League final defeat to Bath.

On the other side of the pitch was 18-year-old Packman, who came off his wing to score a first-half try.

And Saints also have another youngster making a name for himself this season in Collins, a 19-year-old who played a key role in the stunning win against Leinster in Dublin last Saturday.

Artemyev has been hugely impressed with the young pair and believes they, along with flankers Matt Williams and Teimana Harrison, are well equipped to become big players for Northampton.

“Tom Collins, Howard Packman – they keep getting first-team experience and it will raise their game and make them more complete players,” said the Russian.

“Matt Williams and Teimana Harrison have really shown that they deserve to be playing in any top Premiership side.

“They are very close to getting their chance at the Saints, it’s just that the back row competition is huge at the moment.

“Matt and Teimana would probably be in any other club’s first team and they are people to watch.”