Tom Stephenson: Northampton Saints centre encouraged by injury return

Tom Stephenson
Tom Stephenson signed his most recent Northampton deal in February

Northampton centre Tom Stephenson says he is slowly returning to his best after nearly two years out with injury.

The 23-year-old had been touted as a "huge prospect" by coach Phil Dowson and played his 50th club game as Saints defeated Clermont in the Champions Cup.

"I'm not back to where I was, I know that, but it's something I have to work on," he told BBC Radio Northampton.

"It's been a long journey and I finally feel I'm coming back to playing the same rugby as I was three years ago."

Before this season, Stephenson's last first-team game was in December 2015, with a foot injury and double leg-break keeping him sidelined until his return in October.

The former England Under-20 player completed the full 80 minutes in Northampton's victory over their French opponents, though they had already been eliminated from the competition.

"Stuff I worked on when I was 19, which were my natural habits, I worked on them and got better," Stephenson said.

"But since I've had two years out I've gone straight back to when I was 18, so I've still got a lot of work on that."

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