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Mallinder: We want to get off to a flying start

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

After an unbeaten preseason campaign, Saints start their Premiership Rugby campaign with the small matter of tackling the double European Champions Cup title holders Saracens as part of the London Double Header at Twickenham.

Opening their 2017/18 league account this Saturday (September 2nd), Saints' Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder is confident that the side's successful preseason has set them in good stead for the start of the regular season, especially their most recent win over Ulster.

"We didn't quite know what the strength of Ulster would be," Mallinder said after Saints' 55-15 victory over the Irish side at Franklin's Gardens last Friday night.

"All we could do is do what we did. It was a good performance; a good test in the first half, but in the second half I think we got a good grip on the game.

"I was really pleased with the lads who came on, they upped the tempo as Ulster were tiring and it's always good to score those tries."

Looking straight ahead to the task in hand this week though, Mallinder said that to have such a tough test up first is something the team are taking as a positive as they prepare to face Saracens.

"I think it's good for us," Mallinder continued, "I think it's a really good test.

"It's away from home but with playing a Twickenham it makes it a neutral venue really. Hopefully we'll get lots of Northampton fans coming down, filling the ground and getting behind the team.

"We're excited. We understand the challenges involved with playing Saracens, they're a great team and they're going to be very, very tough to beat but we've got to go out there and be positive and play some rugby against them.

"They're a big strong team, we'll have to keep our discipline high because they love nothing better than kicking the ball to the corner and driving and getting in your head. If they do that, they're a difficult team to break down. It's a massive challenge but we're looking forward to it.

"We want to get off to a flying start and if we can do that then we can really look forward to the two home games after that."

Tickets for the London Double Header are still available to purchase through Ticketmaster.

After their trip to Twickenham for this year's London Double Header in their game against Saracens, Saints then return home as the first East Midlands derby of the season kicks off the action at Franklin's Gardens. With tickets already very limited, make sure you don't miss the action as Saints host Leicester Tigers on Saturday, September 9th. CLICK HERE to get your ticket now!

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