Tom Wood admits he has not been at his best since returning from injury – and says he doesn’t want to merely make up the numbers at Saints.
The England flanker returned to action during pre-season after a four-month lay-off due to a troublesome toe injury.
He has gone on to play a full 80 minutes in each of the three Premiership games this season, being on the winning side three times, with the Saints forwards dominating proceedings.
Wood admits it helps to be part of one of the best packs around, but the 25-year-old believes he needs to contribute more to the team.
“We’ve got a very strong pack and that’s always helped me as a back row player but what comes with that is high expectations as well and there’s no point just being a number in amongst the pack, you’ve got to contribute,” said Wood.
“As a No.7 or a back row there’s a lot of work rate involved and to really give the best account of myself on the field I need to be a little bit better than I’ve been so far, I feel.”
Wood admits he is still battling against the injury which caused him to miss the end of last season and ended his chances of going on England’s summer tour of South Africa.
And the nine-cap star feels he is still lacking ‘that extra few per cent’ needed to reach his full potential.
Wood said: “I wouldn’t say (I’ve had) problems (with the toe), I’m not pulling up particularly sore. I’m not having to drop out or carry it too much but I’m just lacking that final few per cent of sharpness and getting to top end speed.
“I’m not far away, I’m functioning okay and I just feel like I need to get that extra few per cent to be at my best.”