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Pre-season is over - the countdown is on!

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The August bank holiday marks the end of the pre-season friendlies and the start of the countdown to the serious action - the 2016/17 Aviva Premiership campaign!

Saints open up on home turf next weekend against Bath, and it is going to be a clash between two of England’s most historic and ambitious clubs.

The past few weeks have seen the Saints coaches give game time to over 40 players across the pre-season matches, and while the team has been on the wrong end of the results there has been some exciting rugby played as the likes of Louis Picamoles, Nic Groom and Juan Pablo Estelles settle into their new surroundings.

But the Saints have an outstanding record when they have begun their campaign on home turf, and are yet to lose at Franklin’s Gardens on opening day this century.

Nevertheless Tom Wood and his team are going to face a stiff challenge from a Bath outfit bolstered by the arrivals of Welsh pair Taulope Faletau and Luke Charteris, as well as former Saints scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i, not to mention a new director of rugby in the shape of former All Black Todd Blackadder.

A packed Gardens will be crucial, and this is where supporters come in because every voice counts! Tickets remain available in most areas of the stadium, so head to www.tinyurl.com/SAI-BAT-1617 and use [email protected] to beat the match day queues and save the admin fees!