Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder is preparing his players for the visit of Harlequins but warned: “We are under no illusion how difficult it is going to be.”
Saints have made an impressive turnaround from the Saracens defeat but the shocking seaon opener has been a useful motivator: “No we don’t forget about that. I don’t think we can forget about it because if we turn up and play like that then we deserve to get beaten.
“It’s a reminder that we can’t go back to that standard. We need to be at the Leicester, Bath and London Irish standard every single week.”
Saints season is beginning to gather momentum after a string of good results.
“We are really pleased and we have a bit of continuity now with our performance. We played Quins at the end of last season and it was a real close game. We just won the game and didn’t quite get the result we wanted. It’s going to be difficult they are a quality side with some really good experienced players.”
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Stephen Myler starts on the bench for Saints after he put in a strong 50 minutes for the Wanderers on Monday against Worcester.
“We are really delighted to see him back in the mix,” said Mallinder.
When asked about the return of players like Myler, Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley, Mallinder said: “They are going to have to fight to get their way back in it’s as simple as that.
“You have to prove that your good enough.
“It’s how we want it to be as we don’t want just 15 or 23 people who are just automatically put the names on the team sheets.
“We need every player to work hard and if they do that then they get the chance to play in the 23.”
The squad is a fascinating mix of proven world class talent and youngsters breaking through.
Mallinder said: “We think we have a nice blend of players at the club. It’s brilliant to see the Mitchells and the Graysons of this world.”
“They have all contributed significantly to the team effort and the squad effort.
“We think we have a decent mix.
“I will go back to say that we have won the last three games but we still have a lot of hard work and a long way to go this season.”