Picking out a recent outstanding performer, this week we take a look at yet another powerful outing for Louis Picamoles for his new side Northampton.
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Hype levels around certain signings can often seem a little overblown – not to single him out, but the recent example of Sam Burgess springs to mind.
So even when a France international with a long list of accolades just approaching 30 is unveiled, it’s human nature to approach it with a little trepidation.
Louis Picamoles however appears to have settled right into life in the Premiership. After six rounds he is the league’s top offloader and narrowly behind Gloucester’s Ben Morgan when it comes to the most metres made by a forward so far.
It is for huge games like Saturday’s at home to Montpellier however that Northampton signed Picamoles for – all 196cm and 116kg of him.
Picamoles certainly didn’t disappoint either on his home debut, against the side where he spent the first five years of his career no less before heading to Toulouse where he became a French (twice) and European champion.
The 30-year-old spoke beforehand about Saturday being a special occasion and he certainly backed that up with a special offload for Calum Clark’s try, the early settler Saints needed to get the edge on the scoreboard.
Considering the weight that Picamoles registers at, his ability to glide across a rugby pitch has always stood out. By the time he was done unleashing bruising carries on the Montpellier defence, Picamoles had made 102 metres with the ball in hand.
To be that powerful but to still have the ability to produce key offloads, as he did twice against Montpellier, is what makes Picamoles the special player he is.
He already looks worth every penny that Northampton have paid for his services.