Fin Smith sets personal England target after Premiership glory with Northampton Saints

James While
Northampton Saints fly-half Fin Smith celebrates winning the Premiership.

Northampton Saints fly-half Fin Smith celebrates winning the Premiership.

Fly-half Fin Smith is desperate to make his mark in the England jersey after a stellar season for Northampton Saints that aptly ended with a Premiership title.

Saints played against 14 men for 59 minutes versus Bath but still only limped to a 25-21 win at Twickenham in an epic final where the pivot scored eight points on the day.

Smith was at the heart of Northampton’s push for the league title and was deservedly named the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) Player of the Year while also earning his first caps for England in 2024.

Reward for a good season

The Premiership champion was delighted that the Saints could sign off their impressive season with a bit of silverware.

“This season, we have felt that how we are playing we deserve to win something and even more so when they got a red card, ‘right, we definitely deserve to win something now’, but I think we just go so nervous because we felt like we needed to do it,” Smith said.

“Honestly, I don’t think we have been that bad all year but, saying that, with the experiences we have had all year, Leinster away etc, etc, we got there. The best teams find a way to win when it is not looking good for them so – how good.”

One of the major talking points from the final was Bath prop Beno Obano’s red card for a high tackle on Juarno Augustus which Saints almost immediately punished their opponents for. Smith conceded that his team may have sat back a bit after that but still credited Bath for their performance.

“We probably took our foot off the gas. Courtney (Lawes) said it to us, ‘they are a team down to 14 and they have nothing to lose’ and we were pretty naïve to it. We got there in the end but credit to them, I thought they were unbelievable today, made us work ridiculously hard,” he explained.

Smith was replaced with nine minutes to play due to cramp and admits to the final few minutes at Twickenham being very intense.

“I think I did my first ever prayer, which is a bit weird, then I was like ‘we have lost, we have lost, we have lost it’ then the lads stripped it at the end and I was trying not to cry, it was unbelievable,” he said.

“Alex Waller grabbed me and he was pretty emotional. To do that for those guys, him, Courtney and Luds (Ludlam), to give them something to go out on, they deserve it.”

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Hard work is key

The 22-year-old admits he has not had much of a chance to reflect on a watershed season but explained it all starts with hard work.

“I have not really had time for any of it to sink in but I look back to what I have done in the last three seasons and I have never really been happy with what I have done on the pitch. This is the first year I have been pleased at times with what I have done, ” he continued.

“I have worked incredibly hard, I gave myself a bit of a talking to at the end of last season and said ‘if you want to be this guy that is remembered for what you want to be remembered for, and do all the things you want to do you are going to have to start working really hard’, and I have tried to do that.”

Test dream

Smith was very clear about his Test aspirations and that he wants to make his mark in the white of England. Given the injury to George Ford, confirmed earlier today, it could be a golden opportunity for the young star.

“I have come off the bench for 10 minutes in Italy and 15 minutes in Scotland and I don’t feel like I have actually made my mark at all on that jersey. So that is the goal, to go into camp on Monday and give it my all and if make my mark and make the 10 jersey my own, that would be a massive way to end the season. Fingers crossed,” Smith said.

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