While the Saints’ Champions Cup hopes came to an agonising end on Saturday evening, Ben Foden believes there is plenty to work with ahead of another knockout-style clash this weekend.
The squad had been ravaged by injuries ahead of the European quarter final at Saracens, but plenty of fresh faces put their hands up as the men in black, green and gold threatened to upset the odds at Allianz Park.
And skipper for the day Foden was especially encouraged by a back row playing their first game as a trio.
“It’s great to see these guys stepping up,” he told SaintsTV. “I think particularly in the back row, you look at the likes of Ben Nutley and Teimana Harrison and they both put in massive performances.
“They’re both still young and they’ve had to be patient with the likes of Woody, Calum, Sam Dickinson and Fish playing well, but now they’ve had their chance they’ve shown exactly what they can do.
“I’m proud of the boys. We rattled Saracens at times and can take a lot of confidence from that and know that we’re capable of beating anyone, even when we’ve got a good few injuries.
“Next week is massive though. Obviously we’re fighting it out with Leicester for that fourth spot and if we can win that it will be advantage us going into end of the season. We’ll re-group, rest up and hopefully welcome back a few boys we were missing this week to really give Leicester a good test.”
General sale tickets for Saturday's derby at the Gardens are sold out, but a handful of seats are available for the 5:30pm kick off via www.stubhub.co.uk, the Saints' official ticket marketplace.