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Boyd expecting ‘competitive, hard and fast’ Premiership return

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Chris Boyd is already planning for the prospect of playing Gallagher Premiership rugby during the summer.

If the men in Black, Green and Gold are able to return to league action in the coming months – with the Premiership currently on hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic – Boyd is optimistic the conditions could suit his side’s style of play.

Saints currently sit fourth in the league standings in the Kiwi coach’s second season at the helm, and will be targeting a run at the title should it be safe for professional rugby to return.

While Northampton’s players remain in isolation at home for the time being, a safe and socially-distanced return to training is being plotted out, and Boyd is confident the shake up to the calendar could help Saints deliver their expansive style of rugby week in, week out.

“Once the boys walk across the white line they will rip in,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if the harder grounds and the warmer weather has an impact on the way the game gets played.

“I think everyone will play their own game – so those who tend to be more physical will continue like that, and those who play an expansive game will continue to do that.”

Chris Boyd

“It's not going to be January in Bath, where you’re knee-deep in mud, so we are going to be able to play over the top of the ground. It will be competitive and it will be hard and fast.

“There’s nine rounds to play and because there’s a short window between the end of this season and potentially the start of next, as teams find they haven't got anything more to play for – they can’t make the top six or they can’t make the top four or whatever they can’t do – I think their focus may switch into other things.

“Obviously there's no relegation threat for anyone for the end of this year so that takes quite a lot of pressure off the bottom of the league.

“I think it will make for some entertaining rugby.”