Ben Gibson looks at the importance of the Wanderers in the Saints playing set up…
Wanderers players who perform well will see first team action according to Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder.
“We take it seriously. We give the players – if they play well – opportunities for the first team and we will be seeing some of that over the next few weeks.”
Wanderers beat Worcester Cavaliers on Monday and have won every game they have played for the last year.
They are topping the league table – five points clear of Newcastle Falcons A.
Mallinder said: “We always think that the Wanderers are an important team.
“Some teams don’t see it like that, they don’t put any emphasis on it but we won the competition last year.
“We think it is vital that these players are playing as regularly as they can for us in a Saints jersey, being coached by the coaches and being debriefed by the coaches, playing in the style that we want to play.”
Mallinder believes that Wanderers are successful because of the way the players are trained and taught.
“We need every player to work hard and if they do that they deserve a chance to start in the 23.
“Watching the game at Worcester yesterday there were some outstanding contributions and some of those will be rewarded over the next couple of weeks.”
Teams in the Aviva A League are picked for their side through the clubs’ academies, first team players and sometimes feeder clubs where players have a dual contract.
Wanderers games are popular with Saints fans as they are reliable way of talent spotting future stars. Tom Collins’ breakthrough this season follows a string of blistering performances in the Wandies last season.
Also games often feature first team players getting game time after a period of injury such as fly-half Stephen Myler who played 50 minutes against the Cavaliers.
“He got a good run out of 50 minutes yesterday down at Worcester and he played well,” said Mallinder.
“He has been out the game for a long time and didn’t play the end of last season or preseason games.
“We are really delighted to see him back into the mix.”