After selecting a relatively young side for the Anglo-Welsh Cup tie with Newcastle Falcons, with two of the starting fifteen earning making their first ever appearances in the first team, Jim Mallinder says that, despite the team looking distinctly like a Wanderers side, they will approach the game on Sunday with the same intensity as any other.
“We need to go there and take control,” Mallinder commented.
“It’s a young team but we don’t see it as a Wanderers game. But even if we did, we’d still play with the same control. That’s what a normal Wanderers game is like, we like to still run it in the same way and put the same analysis into our preparation.
“All the coaches still have a big say; so Mark Hopley and Paul Diggin have been working alongside Alan Dickens and Dorian West and we’ve had a good week.”
Mallinder said that he is looking forward to seeing the stars of the future pulling on the Saints shirt, putting their best game on the field and competing for a first team spot.
“We’re looking forward to it. There’s certain players that have been playing really well for the Wanderers and not getting too much game time for the first team, some not getting any game time at all. We’re really looking forward to seeing them play.
“We take the competition seriously and we say to the younger lads that if they play well they’ll have that chance to move up and continue playing in the first team.
“The Premiership games will come in thick and fast after this; we’ve got them back in two weeks’ time and a lot of the Internationals will still be away so opportunities for the young guys to step up.”
After having a tough run over the past month, Mallinder said that to get the momentum going with the Anglo-Welsh Cup games is imperative for Saints to start back on the front foot in the Aviva Premiership against Worcester in two weeks.
“Momentum is a massive thing. We’ve had to work hard for our victories, particularly this month, but it would be nice if we could pick up another couple of victories in the Anglo-Welsh games.
“That would take us into the Worcester and Newcastle matches with good momentum.”