Saracens put Conlon back on path to top via Bedford
SARACENS back rower Joel Conlon says he is determined to seize the day against Northampton after spending two years waiting patiently in the trenches.
A two-time England U20s World Cup winner in 2013 and 2014, Conlon’s career failed to achieve lift-off in the spectacular manner of those he played alongside for the Red Rose such as Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Ross Moriarty and Maro Itoje.
However, a move from Exeter to Saracens in 2015 provided fresh impetus and the 22-year-old is now reaping his rewards, with a start against the Saints providing his latest opportunity to stake a claim as the club’s chase for silverware intensifies. Conlon told The Rugby
Paper: “Saracens was a great move – it refocused me, gave me the opportunity to work on things physically and spending last season on loan at Bedford was brilliant because it meant I had a full season playing.
“I’ve had to be patient because seeing guys like Itoje, Moriarty, Nowell and Watson doing so well makes you question why you’re not making that same progress, but every player’s journey is different.
“Jamie George had to be patient at Saracens but is now getting rewarded, so I’ve become good at not being frustrated and I’ve been involved a lot over the last two months, playing in the Champions Cup quarter-final and some big league games.”
Conlon will relish having a crack at Northampton’s star-studded back row.
He added: “Saints have got top guys like Louis Picamoles, Tom Wood and Jamie Gibson who are not in the Champions Cup anymore, so they can afford to just go flat out over these last three league games and see where it takes them.
“We’ll be missing players, but it’s a massive test we’re ready for and we want to maintain momentum and get into that top two.”
Saracens flanker Kelly Brown will retire at the end of the season to become an academy coach. The 34year-old was capped 64 times by Scotland.