Ethan: Nothing’s changed at the Gardens

Ethan Waller says the Saints squad are back in a focused mood © Getty Images

Rugby News Ethan: Nothing’s changed at the Gardens

The Saints may have returned to Franklin’s Gardens as Aviva Premiership champions, but Ethan Waller says it has been hard for the squad to focus on anything other than the tough pre-season schedule facing them as they prepare to defend their title.

“The only thing that’s changed is my body fat!” The Saints’ Young Player of the Season joked. “Other than that not a lot else really.

“Yes we won the title last year and we had a lot of time to celebrate, but we now know that people are going to be gunning for us as champions and we can’t rest on our laurels. We want to stay at the top of the tree and we’ll be looking to raise our game."

Waller also added that the low player turnover this summer – Joel Hodgson is the only signing to have joined the first team squad – has allowed the group to hit the ground running, not that pre-season has become any more enjoyable.

“Every pre-season is pretty different but they’re always just as savage as the last! It does seem to get tougher each year but I guess that is all down to how hard you push yourself. You get out what you put in.”

 “It’s nice that we all know each other and everyone is up to speed on how things work here. When the rugby starts I imagine that it will be a lot smoother transition than it has been in previous years, too.”

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