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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, October 23rd 2018

Northampton Saints press in brief: five things we learned

Forwards coach, Jonathan Thomas and utility back, Charlie Powell faced the media ahead of Saturday's Premiership Rugby Cup clash with Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens - here's what we learned from this week's press session. 


The History Boy

Aged 18 years and 356 days, Charlie Powell became the youngest player to represent Bristol Bears in a European cup game against Zebre on Saturday. And the Academy graduate reflected on a memorable outing.

“It was a great opportunity. I really enjoyed it and heading out to Italy was a great experience," he said.

"All of the boys were class with me and I’m just thankful to have had the chance to get out there and give it a go.”



Soaking it up

Powell said he is focused on day-to-day improvements as he aims to make his mark in the first team.

"I’m trying to speak to as many boys as possible and learn from their experiences," he said.

"But at this stage in my career, I’m almost going out there to try and put myself in uncomfortable positions, where I might make mistakes but can then learn from them and develop into a better player."


Homegrown youngsters

Jonathan Thomas says the Premiership Rugby Cup provides the perfect platform for young players to thrive in a Bristol Bears shirt. 

"Part of our vision is producing Bristolians and I think we’ve got some good, young Bristolians coming through and it’s a great opportunity for those guys, alongside some of our more experienced players who haven’t played too much," he said.

"So, it’s a good opportunity for those guys this weekend, and Franklin’s Gardens is a great place to play, so it’s an exciting game all round."


Fresh faced and fearless

Thomas also hailed the fearlessness of the club's young players ahead of the weekend, and insisted they wouldn't be changing their approach.

"You usually find that young players are pretty fearless because they don’t think too much, and we’ve got some young players that we’re pretty excited about and the opportunity that they will get this weekend," 

"These guys train really hard, and they train a huge amount and don’t get the opportunities with the first team. So, for those guys it’s about taking that opportunity, being excited about the opportunity, but crucially, trying to nail their opportunity by executing their role within the system."


Being clinical

And Thomas has urged his young charges to be clinical at Franklin's Gardens.

"These guys train really hard, and they train a huge amount and don’t get the opportunities with the first team.

"So, for those guys it’s about taking that opportunity, being excited about the opportunity, but crucially, trying to nail their opportunity by executing their role within the system."


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