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Wood: Champions Cup provides fresh impetus

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Skipper Tom Wood is hoping that a new focus for the Saints on Saturday afternoon will help them kick start what has been a mixed 2016/17 so far.

Performances had steadily progressed for the positive in the previous weeks, good showings against Saracens and Wasps finally backed up by a much needed victory over Exeter.

Defeat at Quins, however, sent the Saints back to the drawing board and Wood believes the arrival of the Champions Cup and Montpellier at Franklin’s Gardens can help them move on quickly.

“I think the Champions Cup is a fantastic opportunity to test yourself against the best,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed some great occasions in Europe and there’s seems to be that little bit extra about it; the atmosphere, the buzz.

“Importantly, it’s a change up from the Premiership and the week to week grind that brings. It brings a fresh impetus when sometimes you’re not going so well domestically. European rugby can be a chance to springboard your season and it’s certainly worked that way for us in the past.”

Regardless of the Saints’ fortunes so far this season, the flanker remains adamant that there can be only one aim for teams in the Champions Cup.

“Our expectation is to go out and win it. Our only ever expectation is to go out there full on and commit wholeheartedly to the effort.

“We recognise that we’ve got some damn good teams in our way, but we want to be competing, we want to qualify from our group and we want to go as far as we possibly can.”


You can help the Saints get off to the best possible start in the Champions Cup by packing Franklin’s Gardens for Saturday’s opener with Montpellier. CLICK HERE to book tickets online!