Uru hoping he can make the step up at Saints

With Mitch Eadie heading back to Bristol Bears this summer, Saints are in need of someone to regularly compete with Teimana Harrison for the No.8 spot.

By Tom Vickers
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 7:00 am
Tui Uru
Tui Uru

Tom Wood and Lewis Ludlam have both shown they are capable of filling the void if needed, but they are needed elsewhere in the back row.

And how Saints would love another player to emerge as a real rival for starts at No.8.

Tui Uru has shown glimpses of promise since arriving at Franklin's Gardens.

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And the 22-year-old, who feels he has similar attributes to England ace Nathan Hughes, is desperate to make the step up in the years to come.

“Size-wise, I’m not as big as Billy (Vunipola) or Nathan Hughes but I’m a similar player to Hughes in that I’m a ball-carrier who can get around the park and I’m pretty fast," Uru recently told The Rugby Paper.

"I’ve got good hands, too, and pride myself on keeping my standards high there.

“The dream is Test rugby. I’ve already done some stuff with England Counties and have lived here for a long time, so that’s probably the way I’d like to go.”

Uru, who weighs in at 17st 6lbs, clearly has lofty ambitions, like so many of the talented youngsters currently residing at Franklin's Gardens.

He has been on dual-registration with Championship club Nottingham and has also featured for the Wanderers.

“It (joining Saints) was a bit daunting at first, walking past guys like Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes and thinking, ‘Wow!’," Uru said. "But I’ve settled in now and all the players have been great in giving me advice, while I’ve played lots of games for Nottingham as well.

“I needed that stepping stone between National Two and Premiership level so that’s been ideal and my target now is to make the next step.

"I want to push forward at Saints, gain the trust of the coaches and see if I can be a contender for a first-team spot.”

Uru played for National 2 South side Bury St Edmunds for two seasons before making the step up to the top level of English rugby with Saints.

He was regular member of the Eastern Counties set-up and played for Ipswich until 2017, also representing England Counties at under-20s level in his fledgling career.

The No.8 represented the Wanderers on three occasions before joining Saints’ ranks full time, scoring an impressive try against Leicester Tigers in April 2019 and helping the side reach the Premiership Rugby Shield knock-out stages for the fourth consecutive season.

He explained: “I lived in Fiji until I was four, but my dad joined the army and we moved to Europe in 2001. He got stationed in England before going to Germany. We moved back when I was 13 and settled just outside Ipswich.

“I hadn’t played rugby before, but I and my brother joined Ipswich Rugby Club just for something to do really and things went from there. I progressed through to their senior side, represented England Counties U20s and then joined Bury St Edmunds.

“I was a bit raw and didn’t get too many games in my first season there because the transition to National Two rugby was quite hard, but I got into it after that and just before Christmas in 2018, my agent sent a video highlights package to pro clubs.

“I had some interest from Cornish Pirates and Bedford but then I got a call from Northampton and went to see Chris Boyd and Paul Shields. By the following Wednesday I’d signed and soon I was playing my first A-team game, so it happened very quickly.”