Northampton centre Dom Waldouck admits there is much to catch up on after he missed most of the Saints’ 2013/14 season.
Northampton centre Dom Waldouck admits there is much to catch up on after he missed most of the Saints’ successful 2013/14 season.
“I haven’t missed a training session all season.”
After falling at the final LV= Cup hurdle – to Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park – Northampton bounced back in impressive style, clinching an Aviva Premiership Rugby and European Challenge Cup double.
In hindsight, victory over Rob Baxter’s side in the south west would have been the first of three trophies in a season that could hardly have been improved upon at Franklin’s Gardens.
For Waldouck, however, the campaign was not all smiles and celebrations as the former Wasps centre mustered up just five league appearances.
Having missed the end of the previous campaign with a hamstring tear, Waldouck returned from a knee problem against Sale Sharks only to last just four minutes before suffering a repeat of it.
That put an end to his season and caused director of rugby Jim Mallinder to curse the 27-year-old’s ‘unbelievable luck’ – but Waldouck insists injury woes are now a thing of the past.
“It was a great year for the club but it was frustrating not to be able to contribute as much as I wanted to,” he reflected.
“You have just got to try and stay as positive as you can. I feel really good so far this season – I haven’t missed a training session all season.
“It would have been great to do the treble last season but we did bring in a lot of young talent. It was obviously frustrating to finish in the manner that we did but there were plenty of positives to come out of the competition.”
That same competition has offered up an added incentive this time around, following the announcement that the LV= Cup final will take place at Franklin’s Gardens.
And having watched on as Exeter lifted the trophy in front of an adoring home crowd earlier this year, Northampton know full well how that would feel.
But for Waldouck, the prospect of capitalising on the absence of some in-form internationals and adding to his 20 minutes of competitive rugby this season is enticing enough.
“Having the final at Franklin’s Gardens just adds an extra incentive the boys,” he said. “It would be a great occasion.
“There is heaps of young talent here and it is great to train with these guys. They are great players and I think to be a successful team you need lots of competition in the squad.”