With the second round of the European Champions Cup now hours away, Alan Dickens says that despite Saints having played Castres numerous times in past the club cannot be relaxed in it’s approach to the French side and that Saints must be on their game to get the win tomorrow.
“We kind of joke about the fact that we make this trip in Europe every year,” Dickens commented on this week’s Saints Show.
“I think this is about the fourth time we’ve been drawn with Castres, so we understand the pressures going there.
“They’ve got a quality nine in Rory Kockott, they’re a different side at home and I’m sure they will be in a different mindset to the team that played Leinster away last week.
“We’re under no illusion in terms of how difficult it will be going to Castres to get a result but that’s what we’re going to go for.
“Often the French mentality of playing at home stays the same despite whatever changes are made at the club. They like to play rugby, they’ll counter-attack and it’s our job to close them down.”
Despite being one of the most underrated French clubs, Castres still provides a threat that Dickens and his Saints side are very aware of.
“I remember a couple of years ago that we came under a bit of pressure here having beaten them 18-9 in a penalty fest, it was almost frowned upon that that was all we won by.
But that season they went on the win the French Championship so I think they’re probably not given the credit that they deserve.”
Looking forward to going away, Dickens says that given the relatively low number of games in European rugby, with the Aviva Premiership season long in comparison, games like this weekend's give the club, and it’s supporters, the chance to make the game a bit more special.
“It’s not something we do a lot and it is different from the supporters’ point of view; it’s a weekend away and we look forward to seeing the supporters down there in Castres on Saturday."