'Dream come true' for Lockett as he savours his special Saints moment

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“It was a dream come true really. It's not something you think about going into a game, but to get the chance to win it in the last couple of minutes is quite special.”

Those were the words of Tom Lockett as he sat in the stands at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens this week and reflected on what unfolded on the field last Friday night.

Lockett was the last-gasp hero for Saints as he popped up out wide to pouch the bonus-point try for his team, helping to earn them a memorable 22-19 Investec Champions Cup victory against Toulon.

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As a lock, tries are few and far between for the 21-year-old, and the one he scored after coming off the bench last week will forever be etched in his mind.

Tom Lockett was the last-gasp hero against Toulon (picture: Ketan Shah)Tom Lockett was the last-gasp hero against Toulon (picture: Ketan Shah)
Tom Lockett was the last-gasp hero against Toulon (picture: Ketan Shah)

"It was one of those things where I saw the space out wide, it was one of their front rowers and I thought that I maybe had a bit of space to get over,” Lockett explained.

"There’s always a bit of nerves but by the time you’re on the pitch, you try to get over it and block everything out.

"I’d say that’s the loudest I’ve ever heard the Gardens so once I’d scored, I probably took it in a little bit.

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"I was a bit stunned really and it probably hasn’t fully sunk in now that we’re two from two in Europe and we won that game in the last minute, but it’s one of those things and we’ve just got to stick in the moment and enjoy it.”

Last Friday’s appearance was Lockett’s 19th for Saints, having emerged from the club’s Academy.

And he said: “I’ve had a lot of chances this year to wear a Saints shirt and show what I can do.

"I’m growing in confidence and in this team it’s so easy to feel confident because there’s so many good players around you and the system is so well oiled at the moment. It’s a great team to play in."

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Saints continue to produce talented young English players who settle seamlessly into life in the first team.

And Colchester-born Lockett said: “It’s probably because as a club we’ve got such a focus on the Academy.

"A lot of the leaders in this club, a lot of the senior players are from the Academy and it’s quite relatable when you’re first coming into the team from the Academy and you see Furbs (George Furbank) is the captain and he’s from the Academy.

"We’ve got Courts (Courtney Lawes) who has played 100 games for England and he’s from the Academy and it gives you that confidence that everyone is there to support you.

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"The reason we see so many Academy players transitioning into the first team is because they’ve got that Saints DNA from when they’re 16 all the way through.”

Several players really have broken through in a big way this season, including the likes of George Hendy and Lockett.

And Lockett said: “For me, similar to Hendo, I’ve been getting that game time at the start of the season in the Premiership Rugby Cup and then once we’ve got into the Premiership and Europe, if you prove you can do it at that level then there’s no reason they can’t pick you."

Another big game, at Gloucester, beckons on Saturday.

“We just want to keep the ball rolling,” Lockett said.

"Momentum is such a big thing in rugby and if we can go into Christmas on the back of five massive wins then we can’t ask for much more than that."

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