SAINTS star Ben Foden is ready to blitz the Premiership in a bid to book his place on next year’s Lions tour.
The England full-back is one of the main contenders for the No.15 jersey for next summer’s battles against Australia.
The likes of Ireland ace Rob Kearney and Welsh wizard Leigh Halfpenny will also come into the reckoning when Lions boss Warren Gatland selects his squad.
Foden knows he’s got plenty of work to do to shoot to the top of Gatland’s pecking order but he believes some strong Premiership showings at Saints will catapult him into contention.
“I think with the talent that’s around in the northern hemisphere at the moment, there’s such a vast quantity of outstanding players to pick from,” said the 27-year-old.
“The Welsh squad is looking strong so there’ll be a large quantity of them. Warren Gatland knows those guys well so he’ll be familiar with the guys he wants to pick and take and when he’s appointing his support staff he’ll look for guys with experience in the Premiership.
“There are guys like Shaun Edwards who’s been involved at Wasps and I wouldn’t be surprised among guys helping Gatland out and obviously he’ll be keeping a watchful eye over the Premiership, the results and the way guys are going.
“For me the main focus will be on playing well in the Premiership.”
Foden also has two international series to impress in, with the autumn internationals on the horizon and the Six Nations tournament early next year.
His absence during those times will be tough for Saints to take, as always, but the flying full-back believes they now have a squad in place to cope.
“We’ve got a lot more strength in depth, the likes of James Wilson coming into the squad, Dom Waldouck, Noah Cato’s back from injury and looking in form,” said Foden.
“We’ve got a lot of players who played last year, the likes of T (Harrison), Trammer (James Craig), those guys got starts last year and that puts us in a much better position this season because we know we can rely on those guys when they’re called upon.
“We signed well during the summer and got some real strength in depth now so when the time does come for players to leave and go and represent their country, there are guys who are willing to step up.
“They’re really putting pressure on the guys who are leaving to perform while they’re away because they’ve got to fight for their position when they get back.”