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SAINTS 35 LONDON IRISH 7 Dickens - Season structure encourages squad rotation

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Defence coach Alan Dickens says that the season structure is encouraging squad rotation across the Aviva Premiership.

The league is in the middle of its longest run of fixtures in the season so far, using the absence of the Anglo-Welsh Cup to make up the weeks that were lost in September and October due to the Rugby World Cup.

The Saints’ bonus point win over London Irish combined with results elsewhere to put the club within two points of a top four place, an eight-point swing compared to two rounds ago. And Dickens told SaintsTV that the team is starting to see the benefits of rotating players in and out of the starting 15.

“I’m sure every coach up and down the country has spoken about the challenges this season with squads, injures, rotation,” he said. “It’s something new to us having the later start and fulfilling all the fixtures in Europe and the Aviva Premiership.

“It’s something we’ve learned along the way, and we’ve seen the benefits over the past few weeks of rotating our squad. People are coming in, which is putting pressure on within the squad and players are performing.

“We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves, and the game against London Irish was really pleasing.

“We’d spoken during the week about having a good start and you saw that in our defensive collisions. And on the attacking side we carried hard, won the gain line and hit the wider channels. We were pretty accurate today.

“There was urgency to support the ball carrier, which allowed them to make shorter passes. We scored a couple of tries from that today, and we saw that urgency throughout the 80 minutes.”

The full interview is available now at www.youtube.com/TheSaintsTV.

The Saints are back in action at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, February 27th, Worcester Warriors the visitors. Tickets are available now at www.tinyurl.com/SAI-WOR-1516 and by using [email protected] supporters can save themselves the admin fees and beat the match day queues.