Mallinder demands ‘flying start’ from Saints

Jim Mallinder is desperate to start the new season with a win (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jim Mallinder is desperate to start the new season with a win (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder is demanding a flying start from Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.

Bath, who are under new management, with Todd Blackadder now director of rugby, will be the visitors for the first game of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

On opening night last October, Saints suffered a disappointing defeat at Worcester Warriors.

And Mallinder knows his side must not endure any early slips this time round, urging them to beat Bath this weekend, just as they did in the final home game of last season.

“Last season was difficult, we didn’t have the best of pre-seasons and that led to a start when we won one of our first four games - that really does put you on the back foot,” said Mallinder, who led Saints to a fifth-place finish last time round.

“Most of our players have been training hard, some players joining the group a little bit later, but they are really refreshed and have come in and added something new to what we have.

“We have been making sure everyone is fit, robust, ready to play and making sure our tactical game in attack and defence is prepared for a long season.

“We are in a good place and looking for a good start.

“Bath is vitally important, particularly being at home it is vital that you get off to a flying start.

“We know a lot of the Bath players, but we do not know what style of rugby they will be playing, new coach, new director of rugby.

“We want to work hard and make sure our game is up to speed.”