Settled Proctor showing his worth at Saints
'Happy wife, happy life, right?," says a smiling Matt Proctor as he reflects on one of the reasons for his strong start to the season at Saints.
Proctor is now in his third campaign in the black, green and gold and is feeling settled in Northampton after a turbulent couple of years away from his homeland, New Zealand.
He has been able to play with a smile on his face as things have started to return to something more like normality on and off the field.
And Proctor and his family are clearly now happy with the life they have in Northampton.
The talented centre, who arrived at Saints in 2019, said: "Me and my family are settling in well.
"We've got a few friends now. My Mrs has got a little group of friends she hangs out with and the kids have settled down as well.
"It's good, bro. Happy wife, happy life, right?
"It does make a big difference when everything's nice and settled at home because you can just come here and worry about rugby - you don't have anything clouding the back of your mind.
"You can just go and do what you need to do."
Proctor scored his third Saints try last weekend, chipping in with a key effort in the superb 26-24 win at Exeter Chiefs.
And he admits it has been a long wait since the double he delivered against Leicester Tigers on his Premiership debut in November 2019.
"It's taken a long time!" Proctor said.
"I'm just happy I crossed the line, and hopefully a few more will come."
Not only does Proctor want the tries to flow, he wants the wins to arrive on a regular basis also.
Saints finished fifth last season, when they won 11 and lost 11 of their 22 league games.
But after back-to-back wins to start the new campaign, confidence is growing that Chris Boyd's side can be contenders this time round.
"Going down to Exeter last weekend and beating a side of their quality, we're pretty proud of that," Proctor said.
"But there's a been a lot of talk this week about how we can back it up.
"That consistency is something that's been missing for us, and even last season we went down to Exeter and beat them and then we came back home and put in a sub-par effort (in a defeat to Bath).
"If we can back it up and be consistent in our performances and back up a good performance with another one at home, that's a true test of where we're at.
"We've had our good patches through the previous seasons but we've always struggled to back it up, and that's been our problem and the thing that's holding us back from taking that next step.
"It's up to us to prove to ourselves that we're serious about what we're doing so we have to be consistent with our performances.
"One good performance has to become a regular occurrence. We can't just sit back and be happy with one win - we have to keep striving to be better.
"It will be a good challenge this weekend."
Saints host London Irish this Saturday as they aim to avoid another post-Sandy Park hangover.
And Proctor said: "London Irish have a lot of threats over the park.
"It will be a good challenge, a different one to Exeter.
"I personally love playing at the Gardens and there's no many stadiums where the fans are so passionate.
"I'm looking forward to it."
Proctor has shown his ability on the wing and at centre for Saints already this season.
And he said: "It's been a good start, and there's healthy competition in our team.
"In our midfield there's four quality players who could probably play in any Prem team.
"The competition within our team is very good and it pushes each of us to be better.
"We all support each other."
Proctor and Fraser Dingwall were hugely impressive last Saturday.
And Proctor has been impressed with his centre partner.
He said: "Dingers is a solid player.
"He goes about his work and he's a no-nonsense type of player.
"He's a good ball carrier, a good defender and it's good to play alongside him."