Northampton Saints: Ben Nutley believes time right 'to step up'
Northampton Saints back-row forward Ben Nutley has set his sights on becoming more than a bit-part player for the defending Premiership champions.
Nutley made his 50th appearance for the club last week, four years after his 1st XV debut.
"I'm 22 and a lot of the lads are getting older and some lads are getting international recognition," he told BBC Radio Northampton.
"It's my time to come through and I feel I am ready to step up."
With a host of Saints stars away on international duty, including three in the England squad to face New Zealand on Saturday, there are opportunities for young and second-string players to shine.
|Saints' back-row competition|
|Tom Wood (91 Saints appearances)||Calum Clark (113)|
|Phil Dowson (165)||Samu Manoa (100)|
|Jon Fisher (Eight)||Ben Nutley (50)|
|Sam Dickinson (31)||Teimana Harrison (14)|
Nutley reached his half-century by coming off the bench in last week's LV= Cup win over Newcastle, but is hoping to start at flanker against Scarlets in the same competition this weekend.
"Hopefully I can add to this 50 caps and get to 100 within two years," he said.
"I'm happy here and I can't see myself leaving in the future.
"For me to come through the academy and get 50 appearances is a big thing for me.
"I would have hoped to have played a bit more. To get into that back row you have to be international standard and I'm working my way up there."