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Wood: No room for hiccups in Champions Cup

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

It was 2011’s run to the final, also in Cardiff, when the Saints last passed progressed from the Pool stages and the back row believes Saints need to adapt fully to the subtleties of a change in tournament.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve started pretty slowly in Europe and have had a few hiccups,” Wood told the gathered press. “I’m thinking Leinster, Ulster at home. Even Scarlets a year before that.

“We need to recognise the differences between Premiership and European matches. We have to adjust to the refereeing - which has certainly been different in recent years - and address the breakdown, because we’ve maybe been caught cold there a couple of times.”

Wood also acknowledged the test a star-studded Racing Metro will pose but added Saints remained focused on their own preparations.

“We’ve done some analysis on them but it’s been fairly broad. They’ve got so many options, but what we do know is that whoever they pick, a French side on home soil is a real challenge.

“We know we’re in for a tough start but we’re pretty happy with where we are at the moment. We also know really pull it together, that we can be a real challenge for anybody.”

This weekend’s game is being shown live on Sky Sports 2HD (KO 5:15pm BST), while the usual updates will be available at www.saintslive.co.uk and through the @SaintsRugby Twiter feed.