Aug 18, 2017
Preseason Star Hayden Thompson-Stringer Ready for Bedford Return
Prop Hayden Thompson-Stringer is emerging as one of preseason’s secret superstars.
Last year’s recipient of the Saracens Academy Player of the Season award, has been quietly impressing coaches and earned his first start last week in Sarries’ 92-0 victory over the USA Islanders invitational side.
This week, he has been named to the squad to face Bedford Blues. It will be a return to Goldington Road for Thompson-Stringer, 22, who played three years for Bedford on his way through Saracens Academy.
Ahead of the game he said: “To think of it from my point of view, it’s mad.
“They were good years. I played a lot of time there and got on really well with all the boys. They are going to have all their old fans there, and I know them, it will be packed out. So, it will be exciting, I think it’s going to be good fun.”
After joining Saracens Academy as a flanker, Thompson-Stringer was moved to prop, and with a few years under his belt in the front row, is feeling better than ever now that he is getting playing time with the senior squad.
On the transition, he said: “There was probably one point when I was a bit like ‘ah… wrong decision’; but everyone has those days, and now I’m over the moon about the change.”
He also noted the huge difference playing with the same people he trains with is making, as before he was training with Saracens while playing his matches on dual registration at Bedford.
In good form now, he is hoping an impressive preseason can roll into September.
He said: “For me it’s just all about excitement. I’m so excited about this. There’s a lot of opportunity and I just can’t wait for it to start.”
Prop is a deep position for the Men in Black, with internationals Juan Figallo and Mako Vunipola consistently manning the fort. Though Thompson-Stringer could well end up as Saracens next breakthrough Academy star.