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Lawes: Saints full of belief ahead of Saracens showdown

Courtney Lawes insists his Northampton Saints teammates are full of confidence and firmly focused on ‘making it count’ in this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership showdown with Saracens.

Phil Dowson’s side travel to StoneX Stadium on Saturday (kick-off: 4.30pm, live on TNT Sports) off the back of a strong performance last Friday, with Saints beating Harlequins 36-33 at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

Northampton go into the clash just three points off their hosts in an incredibly congested top half of the Premiership table, and looking to avenge the semi-final defeat last May which ended Saints’ hopes of lifting the trophy last term.

Lawes starts his third game of the campaign in a Black, Green and Gold jersey, joining Sam Graham and Tom Pearson in the back row, and believes the squad are building nicely heading into what could well be their toughest challenge of the season so far.

“They’re a good team, definitely, and they’ve been one of the best teams in the country for a decade now,” Lawes said.

“It’s always tough going to Saracens and winning, but I’ve been in teams who have done it before in this very Club, and I definitely believe we can do it this weekend.”

Courtney Lawes

“I know their players, they’ve got a lot of internationals, they’re very thorough and they know their DNA inside and out – but we’ve got to have confidence we can do it, and I believe we can.

“We didn’t come out on the right side of the scoreline in the Premiership semi-final there last season, but we get another opportunity this weekend and we’ve got to make it count.”

Lawes is back home in Northampton for good having retired from international duty with England following the Rugby World Cup.

The 34-year-old has been in imperious form on his return to the Club, and is enjoying being able to focus on life at Saints for the time being.

He added: “I honestly don’t have any plans yet beyond this year – it’s so early, I’ve only played two games for the Club so far, and it’s a long, old season so we’ll see how I go.

“I just want to enjoy the games, enjoy being with the boys and see what happens, to be honest.

“I’m happy to be home and playing for the Club, I love the rugby we’re playing – Sam Vesty has done an incredible job with our attack, and Lee Radford has made a difference on our defence as well.

“It’s great to be a part of and hopefully we can continue playing well in this run of games.”

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