Northampton Saints might be in the middle of a three-week break from competitive action, but Tommy Freeman insists there has been no time for the squad to put their feet up and relax with a vital Gallagher Premiership run-in ahead of them.
The men in Black, Green and Gold sit fourth in the league standings with just two games remaining, meaning their semi-final destiny remains in their own hands ahead of next weekend’s clash at Saracens.
But having not played since late April, Northampton’s training and preparation has had to change shape over the last fortnight.
Saints will be desperate to hit the ground running again after building up some brilliant momentum before the European break with five back-to-back bonus-point wins in the Premiership over the likes of Harlequins, Bath, Bristol Bears, London Irish and Wasps.
“We've taken a different approach with these past couple of weeks,” Freeman said. “We were in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week just to keep the body ticking over and the mind active.
“Boydy made a clear point that this isn’t a time to switch off, it’s not a time to go on a break and enjoy ourselves. He said it’s a time to regenerate, to look to the future and what’s at stake. We’re enjoying it and taking each week as it comes.”Tommy Freeman
“Obviously, we’ve got the main goal of reaching the play-offs, but if we look too far ahead, that's when we can have our mishaps. We’ve got Saracens next and hopefully we can come out with the result.”
With bodies freshened and hopefully a few players off the treatment table as a result of three weeks without a match, Saints travel to Saracens next Saturday for a vital clash knowing two more bonus-point wins will see them safely into the top four.
Northampton have won on their last two visits to StoneX Stadium; once in this season’s Premiership Rugby Cup and then in the Premiership back in October 2019 – and Freeman is confident his side can recreate that success once more.
“It’s really exciting and we're backing ourselves as we always do,” Freeman added.
“We’ve got Saracens, which is going to be a tough game, and then it’s on to Newcastle who can bring some real physicality.
“We’re going to take it as it comes, work hard in the week and then hopefully come out with the result on the weekend.”