Dylan Hartley says Saints’ fringe players are chomping at the bit ahead of the first LV= Cup game this weekend.
And the club captain has backed his team-mates to start in style when they host Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.
Hartley and his fellow internationals have headed off to join up with the England squad ahead of first autumn Test against New Zealand on November 8.
That leaves Saints boss Jim Mallinder assessing his options as he prepares to throw players into the first team picture.
And Hartley said: “We’ve got a big squad and we’ve got a lot of players wanting to play rugby.
“The team has been playing really well and we can’t fit everyone in, so they’ll get their chance now and I’m sure they’ll get the LV= Cup off to a good start.”
Hartley and his fellow England team-mates are now in camp preparing for the clash with the All Blacks at Twickenham.
And the hooker said: “It’s good to have a weekend off to recharge the batteries and freshen up the body ahead of a huge challenge against the All Blacks.”