Second chance

IPSWICH flanker Cristof Blom has been called back to Franklin's Gardens for two more matches before Northampton Saints make a decision about his future with the club.

IPSWICH flanker Cristof Blom has been called back to Franklin's Gardens for two more matches before Northampton Saints make a decision about his future with the club.

Blom, 24, moved to Ipswich from South Africa in 2005, and has been a key part of the Humber Doucy Lane side's 1st XV ever since.

He was due to feature in the Saints reserve side, the Wanderers, in a league match against local rivals Leicester Tigers 'A' on Monday, which Leicester won 32-18. But with the Saints due to face French side Biarritz in the Heineken Cup this weekend, several first-team players were drafted in to give them a chance to stretch their legs.

Cristof was called up at the last minute to appear in the Wanderers staring line-up against Leeds Tykes before Christmas, and despite only having a few hours to train with the squad, received the Man of the Match award for his performance in the game.

Blom said: “I hope to get an offer from Northampton, and I am extremely keen to access that level of training and nutritional support.

“I had a good game before Christmas, but know I can do better. I want nothing more than to be a permanent premier league player.”

Most Read

Ipswich's director of rugby, David Broughton, said: “We are definitely seeing the benefits from Cristof's links with Northampton. He is fitter, his rugby is a better quality, and the fact that he has recently married has given him a home stability that is also having an effect on his game.

“There are also knock-on effects for the club as a whole, as he is able to bring the Premiership professionalism back to Humber Doucy Lane. It also helps to draw in new players, both locally and from overseas, as they see what can happen if they play top-quality rugby at Ipswich.”

Cristof is being watched closely by several other top clubs, including top London side Saracens, and National League Three South North Walsham, who are keen for the back-rower to sign with them before the start of next season.

Cristof will be in the Northampton Wanderers squad for next Monday's game against NEC Harlequins, at Imber Court. Kick-off is still to be confirmed.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter