It will be tough in Devon, says hooker Mike Haywood © www.atsportphoto.com
Rugby News Haywood expecting physical Chiefs challenge
Ahead of the return of Aviva Premiership Rugby this weekend, hooker Mike Haywood has told the official Saints Podcast the squad are all too aware of the danger Exeter pose to their eight game winning run on Saturday evening.
The Saints have won on each of their last two league visits to Sandy Park, but with nine who have played first team rugby this season unavailable on international duty and a further handful out injured, the 22-year-old says no one will be underestimating the playoff chasing Chiefs.
“It’s going to be a step up at Exeter so hopefully we can go there and put in the performance we need,” Haywood told the official Saints Podcast.
“They’re a very good side and have a really strong pack, which we know we are going to have to target. Generally they like to run hard too so we’ve got to make sure our defence is good and we get set to restrict the channels and protect the gainline.”
Haywood, who has featured in 18 of the Saints’ 22 games so far in 2013/14, also added that a fortnight of LV= Cup action has provided a good platform as they head back into the Aviva Premiership.
“It’s been great. We’ve had a lot of young lads who’ve come in and done really well. Hopefully that’s something that will push the more experienced guys to perform even better.
“We know it’s going to take a good performance from us but we’ve played well over the past couple of weeks and we’re ready to get stuck in.”
You can hear the full interview in Friday’s podcast, forwards coach Dorian West and wing Ken Pisi also looking ahead to the game in Devon. There’s also an exclusive chat with Sam Dickinson after the number 8’s first experience of international rugby with the Saxons.
The official Saints Podcast is compatible for listening or download across all platforms HERE and what’s more, it’s absolutely FREE!