Scrum-half Groom learned so much from time at Saints

Nic Groom left Saints in April (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Nic Groom left Saints in April (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Nic Groom says it was 'really awesome' to play for Saints - and the scrum-half feels he learned a lot during his stay in England.

The South African scrum-half moved back to his homeland in April, joining Super Rugby side the Lions.

He was due to be at Saints until at least the summer, when his contract was due to expire, but he was allowed to cut short his spell at Franklin's Gardens to help out the injury-hit Lions.

Groom made 51 appearances for Northampton after signing from the Stormers in 2016.

And the 28-year-old said: "I absolutely loved my time at Saints for a number of reasons.

"I got married, went over there, experienced a new way of playing, a new culture, a new stadium and it was really awesome.

"Unfortunately, I got there at a time when the club was starting to go through a tough spot.

"They went through numerous coaches, a new CEO, that sort of thing, and over my two years that caused a lot of us to be unsettled.

"The rugby side, it was awesome playing in Europe.

"It was great to meet a new bunch of guys and rugby is a great sport where you can go and ply your trade in different parts of the world and there aren't many jobs where you can do that.

"I'm really glad I did it because I felt like I learned so much, I met some great guys and made some great relationships over there.

"It's just the way life goes and I now find myself in Johannesburg, which is very new and it's a crazy place.

"It's been a hectic couple of months."

One player Groom was hugely impressed with while at Saints was club captain Dylan Hartley.

"Dyl can add value to any team," Groom told Rugby Pass.

"He really has that team in the palm of his hand in terms of his influence and what he's capable of.

"There's no one there who doesn't for one second value his contribution and his leadership.

"I don't think it's a surprise that England have done so well under his guidance either.

"He does cop a lot of flak for certain things. He might not be as athletic on the field and the stats say this and that, but the beauty about rugby is that it's so much more than that.

"You can't measure things just in stats.

"Dyls is worth his weight in gold and he's the type of guy you want on the field when things are tough and you've got a challenge.

"Eddie Jones has done a good job in bringing the best out of him.

"I think England will miss him this summer (Hartley is missing this month's tour of South Africa due to concussion).

"He's a great player and a great guy."