Saints coach Sam Vesty is expecting a good scrap for the ten shirt in the season ahead despite the fact that two candidates are nursing injuries going into a tough home clash with Newcastle Falcons.
Dan Biggar took a leg knock against Wasps and new signing Fin Smith has an injured jaw. With George Furbank away on England duty it is good news that James Grayson is in a rich vein of form as he proved by assisting in the Premiership Cup demolition of Quins.
When everyone is fit it all adds up to the famous ‘best problem a coach can have’.
Vesty said: “Finn’s a cracking fly half and I’m really looking forward to working with him. We hope there is going to be a really good scrap for ten and those boys push each other we we get the best out of those individuals.
“Dan’s got a knee injury and he will be out for a number of weeks. Fin is not actually fit just yet. He’s coming back from a jaw injury. Jimmy hadn’t done a lot of training so it was important he got through some work but we didn’t want to put him through too much.”
Saints last gasp win over Wasps in the league last Sunday was a lesson for the fans who must have had their heads in the hands for a lot of the game. With this team it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
“We showed a boat load of resolve and a boat load of never say die, which is massive positive to take from that game,” said Vesty.
“We lost the territorial battle in the first half and ended up playing in our half too much, which puts you under pressure. But to take the positives out of it, fair play to come back from where we were.”
Overall Vesty is happy with the way the team is progressing.
“We’ve played quite well over the course of the year but there is plenty for us to get better at. By the end of year we should be in a pretty healthy place and that is when the points really start to count,” he said.
“Fundamentally it comes down to getting the basics right and turning the game round so we are playing our game in their half. We are expecting Newcastle to come with a really good team fighting for inches everywhere, an inch in the scrum, an inch in the tackle, they’ll fight for it. That’s the big part of the game for me this weekend. That physical collision part of it will be key.”