Eadie swaps relegation scrap for silverware bid at Saints

Mitch Eadie (centre) is ready to step up at Saints
Mitch Eadie (centre) is ready to step up at Saints

From fighting fires at the bottom of the table to fighting for silverware at the top.

That is the transformation in expectation that Mitch Eadie has undergone this summer as he targets success and personal improvement at Saints.

Last season, Eadie was a stand-out player for Bristol, who battled bravely against the drop but were eventually relegated from the Premiership.

The ambitious outfit, who look almost certain to win promotion at the first time of asking this season, always had the aim of cementing their top-flight status.

But in the end, it was just a bridge too far for Eadie and Co.

However, while Bristol dropped below England’s top tier, Eadie managed to keep himself afloat with a switch to Saints.

And though Jim Mallinder’s men have underperformed during the past two campaigns, finishing fifth and seventh in the league standings, standards are again set high this season.

Saints will be expected to get back in the top four and start competing for trophies again.

And those lofty aims sit well with back row forward Eadie, who is relishing the challenge alongside his new team-mates.

“It’s another level,” the 25-year-old said.

“There’s a lot to be expected from players and that’s the pressure you need to try to get better.

“It’s probably the best thing about the move for me.”

Eadie scored against Saints back in January, with Bristol pushing Mallinder’s men all the way before eventually losing 32-26 at the Gardens.

And the former Scotland Under-20s player has good memories from his most recent outing on Northampton turf.

“The place as a stadium is brilliant and so are the fans,” Eadie said.

“As soon as you come out onto the pitch, the supporters are there, it’s loud.

“You can see the supporters with their tops on and I was saying the other week that I only went to Tesco and I saw a few people with their Saints shirts on.

“It just shows the support the club’s got and hopefully it can be the same next season to be loud and kick us on.”

The support at Saints should make things easier for Eadie, who admits it was tough to say goodbye to a club that gave him so much.

“Last season at Bristol, we were kind of at the bottom of the table and trying to stay up, but there was an opportunity for me to play in the Premiership next season,” he said.

“For my rugby career, I had to move on.

“It was really hard to say goodbye to Bristol and move on, but I’m looking forward to making new memories up here and get the best out of myself as a player.”

And so to the future...

“We’ve only been in a couple of weeks so I’ve not really seen the full potential of everything here yet, but it seems quite well drilled and organised,” Eadie said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how we prepare for game time and how we get the best out of each other.”