Who is Calum Clark?
Published 20/05/2011 | 05:00
The loss of Premiership Player of the Season Tom Wood would hurt most sides, but Northampton have tremendous faith in 21-year-old Calum Clark, who has played in seven of their eight Heineken Cup games this season, writes Hugh Farrelly.
The flanker came through the ranks at Leeds before joining Northampton and captained the England U-20s to the final of the World Cup in 2009, where they were beaten by an awesome New Zealand outfit.
At 6'4" and more than 17 stone, Clark will help offset Wood's loss in the line-out, and Leinster captain Leo Cullen is wary of the youngster's aerial threat.
"Wood usually does a lot of his damage at the front of the line-out, but Calum Clark has come in and done a pretty good job," said Cullen. "The line-out will be a handful for us."
Clark was recently honoured with the club's Young Player of the Year award and is confident he can fill the void left by Wood against Leinster, when he is expected to start at blindside.
"The reason why I'm here and I'm picked to play is because of how I play in what are perceived to be normal games," said Clark.
"We have big games all the time. This is obviously a step up, but I'll prepare the same, go out and do the same things."