Stephen Myler has played down the prospect of fireworks at Welford Road on Saturday – but does expect another titanic tussle against Leicester Tigers.
The east midlands rivals meet for the first time since the heated Aviva Premiership final in May, from which there was plenty of fall-out.
Saints skipper Dylan Hartley was sent off just before half-time, earning himself an 11-week ban, while Tigers boss Richard Cockerill was suspended for nine games for his reaction to Courtney Lawes’ tackle on Toby Flood.
Cockerill will be unable to take on any coaching duties in this weekend’s game, instead having to take on a passive role in the stands.
There will still be no shortage of talking points, but as Myler rightly points out - that is nothing new.
He said: “I think there was a little bit of extra edge the year before last and the year before that, so I wouldn’t say there will be fireworks, that’s the wrong word.
“But we’re expecting it to be hugely physical with both teams giving it their all.”
Myler was at fly-half the last time Saints won at Welford Road back in 2007, Mark Robinson scoring a try in a 10-9 success.
And he knows just how important the latest meeting will be, with both teams locked on 15 points in the current Aviva Premiership standings.
“It’s obviously a crucial game from the supporters’ point of view, and ours as well,” said Myler. “We know it’s going to be a very difficult game.
“They’re missing a few through injury, but there’s a reason why not many teams go there and upset them.
“It’s difficult to go there and play because they’re a very good side.
“They show that year on year and it’s going to be a tough one.
“We’ve got to get right for Saturday, we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully we’ll come away with something.”