Christian Day says his new second row partner Samu Manoa is a “freak” of a physical specimen.
And the 27-year-old lock believes Manoa has just as much power and strength as Courtney Lawes, the England star he has replaced in the second row.
Manoa was signed from San Francisco Golden Gate in the summer and has given up a place in the USA World Cup squad to cement his first professional contract at Franklin’s Gardens.
Day has been hugely impressed by a former high school American Football quarterback who is still learning the finer points of the game.
“Samu is a really laidback and intelligent guy,” said Day.
“But he is really willing to listen and learn, he asks lots of questions.
“He is a good guy. He has certainly strengthened the squad.
“He arrived to fill Courtney Lawes’ shirt as that explosive, dynamic second rower and he has more than done that. He is more powerful and faster than Courtney.
“Physically he is a freak. He is massively strong, massively fast, with great hands and the more he learns the game the better he is going to get.
“He is not going to be the second row who hits 40 rucks a game and really gets through that sort of work.
“What he does is naturally find the right place to ball carry.
“He gets through a lot of ball carries and when people run into him in defence he knocks them down pretty fast.
“He is there to be dynamic and explosive and that is what he is.”
And the statistics prove it, Manoa is Saints’ joint-highest ball carrier alongside skipper Phil Dowson.
He is the third best carrier, making 74 metres and has done more offloads than any other Saint.
Manoa looks set to become a crowd favourite and his gallop down the wing holding the ball in one hand is a highlight of the season so far.
And his great handling has been used in the lineout as well, where he is Saints’ go-to man with nine takes.
After picking up a foot knock and a hamstring injury in pre-season Day is back to full speed and is enjoying teaming up with Manoa.
“I am someone who is picked in the team to be intelligent, talk to people, make the right calls at the tight time,” said Day.
“He is picked as someone to run through brick walls and knock people down. I will talk to him and he will try to help him out as well and hopefully we will be a big partnership.”