Cobus Reinach says Northampton Saints are pumped up and desperate to deny Leicester Tigers an East Midlands derby double.
The 29-year-old has been in electric form this season, named Gallagher Premiership Player of the Month in December and acting as one of Chris Boyd’s on-field generals at scrum-half.
“No one will pull any punches. Leicester will bring everything they have.”Cobus Reinach
Reinach, in his second season at Franklin’s Gardens, says one of his sweetest feelings as a Saint was winning home and away against the Tigers.
And the South African implored his team-mates, fresh from lifting the Premiership Rugby Cup last weekend, to right the wrong of October’s 15-23 defeat to their rivals at Twickenham.
“Last year that was a good experience, beating them home and away,” said Reinach, who was leading a coaching session on behalf of Land Rover at Market Harborough RFC.
“It felt really good, but the guys said after the game, that doesn’t happen often, it almost never happens.
“So, going into this year, it was a very disappointing game at Twickenham and one we should never have lost.
“The good thing about rugby is that we have the chance to make it better and get it right. The boys are amped up to go out firing in the derby game.
“No one will pull any punches. Leicester will bring everything they have.
“It doesn’t matter where you are on the log, you can be first or last, it’s huge. If you don’t go into the game with that mentality, you will come off second-best.”
There is chatter on the Cape that Reinach may still make South Africa’s squad for the autumn’s Rugby World Cup.
The Bloemfontein native has profited from the relaxing of the Springboks eligibility laws that means overseas-based players with fewer than 30 caps are now available for selection.
Reinach’s pair of breakaway tries against Worcester and Exeter symbolised Saints’ surge around the festive period with Chris Boyd’s philosophy now second nature to the squad.
Reinach reveals he came into the campaign with a clear aim – to be the best scrum-half in England.
“My goal this year was to be the best I could be and to be the best nine in the Premiership,” he said.
“If I can achieve that, then greater stuff may come. I don’t want to look too far into the future; saying I’m aiming for this or that.
“I just want to be the best I can be and hopefully I’ll get rewarded for that.
“You can always improve, I can always work on my basics and then there are the little bits of X-factor and do something out of the ordinary to change a game, I think I can step that up a little bit.
“If the team plays well, it’s easy to pick guys from a winning team.”
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