Since joining Saints at the start of this season, Charlie Clare has become a familiar face among the first team, making five appearances off the bench in both the Aviva Premiership and European Champions Cup competitions so far.
While Charlie has been featuring in the senior side, many of his teammates will be getting their first senior starts of the season, if not their career, on Sunday as the Anglo-Welsh Cup returns with Saints travelling to Newcastle Falcons.
“It’s a good opportunity for a lot of lads,” Clare commented.
“Some of them haven’t necessarily played a lot but they’re going to get the chance to go up to Newcastle and really try to put their hands up for a place in the first team.”
Clare says he’s looking forward to getting on the field with his younger teammates despite the prospect of the long trip up to Newcastle Falcons and playing on an artificial pitch.
“Personally, I’m downloading a few series to watch on the bus to watch on the bus and making sure my iPad is fully charged and looking forward to a nice ride up.
“As a front row forward that likes to scrummage, at first I absolutely despised them but they are quite good to scrummage on actually, you get quite a lot of purchase but I’m still sitting on the fence about them really.”
The hooker believes that competitions like the Anglo-Welsh, where clubs get to blood younger players, is fantastic for player development and that he, and his teammates, are relishing the opportunity to face what could be a strong Newcastle side.
“You can see from previous years how important a competition like this is.
“If you just look at people who played in it in previous years and where they are now you can see it.
“The Anglo-Welsh was their first opportunity so we’re all just really excited to get out there and get going.”