Tom Wood says that having players in the back row who complement each other’s strengths is important in a team’s success.
Over the past few weeks Wood has partnered with Jamie Gibson on the flanks, with Teimana Harrison, Sam Dickinson and Jon Fisher spending time at number eight. And Wood says that he is confident in all of the players to step up and perform when it matters.
“You need balance across the back row and everyone knowing their roles,” he told SaintsTV after another impressive performance at Allianz Park. “You need someone who carries the ball well, is good in the lineout, and someone who’s going to kick-chase, tackle and have a high work rate.
“You need all of those things and to have all bases covered. It doesn’t matter what number you’ve got on your back as long as you’re doing those things. We’ve got a good work rate and we’re pretty confident in what we’ve got.”
Saints have taken four wins from their last five games to put themselves well in the mix for a place in the top four, scoring 19 tries in the process. But this week they host one of their play-off rivals, Sale Sharks, who themselves are on a good run of three wins and a draw in their last five games.
Wood says that Sale need to be taken seriously.
“We’ve struggled against Sale at their place a couple of times; they’ve turned us over the last two years,” he added. “They’re really pushing for the top four as well, like us, and every point is crucial.
“We’ll always back ourselves at home though.”
Every voice counts in the chase for the Aviva Premiership semi-finals, and you can make the difference by getting behind the team when they take on the Sharks on March 12th.
And don’t forget that England’s Six Nations match against Wales will be shown live from Twickenham in the bars straight after the end of the Saints’ game.