Making his first start of the season last weekend, after coming back from injury, James Wilson is excited to get on the road with Saints again and head to Castres for the second round of the pool stages of the European Champion Cup against Castres Olympique.
Wilson was overwhelmed by the support he received last Saturday as he took to the pitch at the Gardens for the first time in this year’s campaign.
“It was good to get some game time for me personally,” Wilson commented on this week’s podcast.
“But the result out there was fantastic for us; we haven’t had the best start to the season so getting the home win against a good Montpellier side, a physical Montpellier side, was a fantastic result.
“I’ve missed playing out here in front of a full stadium. I was really happy and surprised with the reception I got when I finally got out there this season for the first time, that was something special. I really appreciated that.
“Giving the supporters a win, or being a part of a win, was a great thing to be involved in.”
Looking forward to tomorrow’s European clash with Castres, Wilson said that their hosts will prove just as big a challenge as Montpellier Hèrault Rugby last weekend but that he’s relishing the chance to experience the atmosphere of French rugby again.
“Montpellier had a big pack and so will Castres. It’s going to be a physical game and we’re hoping to move them about and hopefully tire them out and find some space in their line. If we can do that I think we’ll be better off going into this weekend.
“It’s always cool going away to France to play. We have played at Castres quite a few times now in Europe so we know what they’re about. Obviously they’ll have made a couple of changes over the years but we know what they bring to a game and that is physicality, especially at home.
“They’ll want to be dominant so we’re going to have to try to nullify that, like we did against Montpellier. They’ve got some fantastic backs too, that can score tries from anywhere so we’ve got to be really on our game."
Wilson praised the Saints supporters who travel Europe to support the side, saying that their support, especially in loud French stadiums, is always appreciated by the players on the pitch.
“It’s always great to have that support at away games. It is a great atmosphere to play in when you’re playing away in France, they bring the noise, but knowing that your fans will be out there helps you out, especially when the opposition is playing well and you need that confidence. They help you out for sure.”