Wood wants Saints to kick on at Castres

Tom Wood (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Tom Wood (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Tom Wood says Saints’ victory against Montpellier was vital in the bid to keep belief high in the camp.

And the skipper has urged his team to use that Champions Cup victory as a catalyst for more wins in the coming weeks.

Saints secured a 16-14 victory against Montpellier last Saturday, with Stephen Myler’s last-gasp penalty sealing the success.

Jim Mallinder’s men will now head to Castres this Saturday hoping to make it two wins from two in Europe this season.

And Wood, who had seen his side lose two of their opening six Aviva Premiership matches, said: “We desperately needed to win (last weekend) - for our home fans, for our own self-belief.

“We’ve done so much hard work, we’ve been in some real brutal games where we’ve come off second best after pouring our hearts and souls into it.

“I guess there have been questions about our commitment and our tactical play, and it’s frustrating when things aren’t going your way.

“We’ve been putting everything into it and we’re just glad we could deliver a performance and a win for the home fans, and hopefully this is the lift we need to kick our season on.”

Wood put in a big performance against Montpellier as the Saints pack stood tall against some monstrous forwards.

And the Northampton captain feels the energy he was able to expend stemmed from the fact he was able to take a night off during a recent victory against Exeter.

“Just having players of the calibre we’ve got to rotate, I was lucky enough to have a rest against Exeter and it hasn’t traditionally been the case for us,” Wood said.

“The same guys have at times had to play week in, week out and the freshness we’ve got now makes a massive difference.

“We’ve got the likes of Jamie Gibson not playing last weekend and Teimana Harrison on the bench and that means you’ve got to deliver.

“But I’m not really driven by those kinds of things. I just desperately want to perform and I love pulling on the shirt.

“I’ve got high standards and I know the other back rowers have them as well.

“We’ve got to share the workload over the course of the season and it’s about pushing everyone else to be better and filling their shoes when they’re not in the team.”