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Hopley: Fans can spur Wanderers to ‘A’ League glory

Ethan Waller and Glenn Dickson have been Wanderers and first team regulars over the past couple of months © www.atsportphoto.com

Fixture News Hopley: Fans can spur Wanderers to ‘A’ League glory

Coach Mark Hopley says that a packed Franklin’s Gardens for Monday’s Aviva ‘A’ League final with Bath could prove the difference as the Wanderers look to complete a perfect home record and lift the first silverware of the season.

The former back row forward was a player when the Wanderers took the title at home in 2009 and is looking forward to a similar evening and atmosphere.

“We’ve got the all-important home final and we’d love to have a big crowd here at the Gardens to cheer us on, hopefully to victory,” he told the Saints podcast.

“We’ll be looking to play a good style of rugby and also be incredibly physical and intense.

“Having a big crowd behind them will be a huge help. I remember playing in the last ‘A’ League final a few years ago that we won and the crowd were fantastic. It’s one of the most enjoyable games I remember playing in.”

That said, Hopley and his squad are taking nothing for granted, particularly given the personnel Bath could potentially call on as the winners of the Northern and Southern Conferences go head-to-head.

“You look at the Bath squad and it could well be a similar side to the one that won in the Challenge Cup at Mogliano over the weekend so we’ll have a little look at that game and see what bits and pieces we can pick up about them.”

More importantly, however, Hopley has been delighted with the transition of Wanderers into the Saints first team and with a big month coming up and some well-known faces missing, many of the squad will be keen to use Monday evening as a chance to stake their claim for further recognition.

“We’ve had a good season so far and having taken those performances into the LV= Cup we were able to produce them again in the semi-final (against Quins). We’re hoping for a big performance and we’ll certainly need one against Bath on Monday night.

“I’m immensely proud of the boys that are starting to come through. Guys like Tom Stephenson, Sam Olver, Howard Packman and then there’s some good senior players in there as well, like GJ van Velze who has led the side exceptionally well.

“To see them play that well in the LV= Cup and really put their hands up for a first team shirt is great and I’m pleased for them.”

Tickets for the game are still available for just £5 and you can help cheer the men in black, green and gold to the first trophy of 2013/14 by booking online HERE.

Meanwhile, Season Ticket Holders and Saints Nation members are reminded that they can enjoy the game for FREE simply by flashing their season card on the gates!

Turnstyles on the evening open at 6pm, with car parking available in the usual places off Edgar Mobbs Way and Ross Road from 5pm. Kick-off is confirmed for 7:30pm.

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