Although the Samoan international scrum-half had started in the away games at Harlequins and Castres, the previous three games at the Gardens had seen him come off the bench to replace Lee Dickson.
But with Dickson retained by the England coaches this weekend the stage was set for Fotuali’i to shine, bossing the forwards, making a superb break in the first half and linking well with Stephen Myler at half-back.
And he said that he’d been anticipating running out in the number nine shirt all week.
“I’d been really looking forward to it, especially in front of the big crowd that we get here every week,” he told SaintsTV. “It was exciting for me to get out there with the boys. I’ve been on the bench a few times at home and moving up to having a start was pretty awesome.”
Saints put in one of the best performances of the season so far to overcome the Aviva Premiership table-toppers, who had been unbeaten in the league going into their visit to Franklin’s Gardens.
A close match had been predicted by many commentators, but with two tries to none in the first half Saints went into half-time leading 17-6. Four more tries followed after the break, inflicting Saracens’ worst Aviva Premiership defeat in over four years in the process.
And while Fotuali’i acknowledged some surprise at the final scoreline he had gone into the game in the knowledge that Saints had the tools to win.
“We knew we had the game plan and structures for how to play against a top team like Saracens,” he commented. “We knew it was going to be tough, and to get six tries is a good achievement.”
Saracens were missing five England players, but Saints had six internationals out – George North having been rested, along with the players who stayed with England – and Fotuali’i says that the result shows the strength in depth now available to Jim Mallinder and the Saints coaches.
“We had some key players out, but so did Saracens, and to get that result at home, with the crowd behind us, is a great feeling,” he added. “We’ve got some good players and some good depth in our squad.”
Tickets are now on general sale for the Saints’ remaining home games in 2013, including the Aviva Premiership matches against Newcastle and Bath, the LV= Cup opener against Gloucester, and the highly anticipated Heineken Cup showdown with Leinster.
Tickets can be booked online 24/7 by CLICKING HERE and following the straightforward instructions!