Sofa so good for new Saints scrum-half Davies

Charlie Davies switched to Saints during the summer (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Charlie Davies switched to Saints during the summer (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

A contract at Saints and plenty of sofa-surfing - it was quite a summer for scrum-half Charlie Davies.

Having agreed a mutual release from the Dragons at the end of last season, Davies admits his self-confidence was dented.

But when Saints came calling, the belief came rushing back.

And after overcoming a couple of injury issues that blighted the formative stages of his career in black, green and gold, Davies is ready to show what he can do.

And his desperation to take his chance is only enhanced by the fact that he spent some of the close-season considering the next step in his career.

"I'm really enjoying it here," said Davies, who made his debut in the 51-24 Premiership Rugby Cup win against Bristol Bears at Franklin's Gardens last weekend.

"It was a bit of a stuttering start for me because I came in needing surgery (on a thumb injury) and then came back and did the ligaments in my foot.

"I've had a slow start in terms of playing but coming into a set up like this with a lot of quality players, I've settled in really well and I've enjoyed it.

"I really enjoyed getting a Saints shirt on for the first time last weekend and I'm ready to stake a claim and work hard for the boys.

"It's a massive opportunity for me here.

"I won't hide the fact that it was a mutual decision for me to leave Dragons and that was a massive confidence knock. I lost my way with rugby.

"So when I got the phone call from Saints to join this squad I was counting my lucky stars.

"It's a massive club and I've not been part of a club for a long time where there's such a big supporter base and it's really exciting.

"I'm enjoying being back at this level and making the most of every moment I can."

At one point during the summer, Davies, who is still just 28, felt he might be forced to hang up his boots and pursue other options.

But then came the call from Saints team manager Paul Shields four days before the start of pre-season training..

"It was very late and I was commuting, sleeping on couches at friends' houses but it's better late than never," Davies said.

"I'm grateful it happened and I'm trying to get a smile on my face playing rugby.

"I had been in talks with a couple of Championship clubs and I was looking at opportunities in France because I'd played over there before (for Stade Français).

"It was uncertain and one of those things where I was looking at jobs as well.

"I'm towards the end of a leadership and management degree through Northumbria University so I was just trying to find out what I would do.

"It was a weird scenario where I thought it could be retirement for me but I kept the faith and backed myself that someone would pick me up.

"I back myself as a good player and for a club like Saints to pick me up, I knew it would be tough to be involved every week but it was a bit of a buzz and a real confidence boost for me to get a call from somewhere like this."

So for those who haven't seen him in action, what does Davies think he can offer to Saints?

"I'm bigger than most nines so I pride myself on my physical edge and I mould myself on the likes of Mike Phillips," he said.

"I back my kicking and game management and I look at nines like Ruan Pienaar for the intellectual side.

"The S&C guys have been pushing me hard on my speed and trying to get that up, which is improving.

"I'm a physical game manager who plays like an extra back row."

Davies has enjoyed an eventful career that has included spells at Nottingham, Stade Français, Dragons and the team Saints will be facing this afternoon, Wasps.

It will be a big occasion for Davies as he takes the next step in his career at his new club while facing his former side.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said.

"I played there for five years and it will be fun to play against some of the old boys I know there.

"The Ricoh Arena is a tough place to play, no matter what team Wasps put out.

"The attendances are good these days and it will be really good.

"Hopefully we can play a fast-paced brand of rugby and Wasps-Northampton is always a big occasion so we're all really looking forward to it."