George North says Saints are desperate to ensure they are not one-hit wonders by backing up last season’s title triumph.
North was in superb form as he scored a hat-trick in the 53-6 thrashing of Gloucester at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night.
It was the most impressive of starts to the new campaign by Jim Mallinder’s men, who claimed their first Aviva Premiership crown back in May.
And North feels the crushing of the Cherry and Whites showed just how keen Saints are to avoid relinquishing their title this season.
“We’re champions from last year and we want to make sure we’re not one-hit wonders - we want to make sure we can back it up,” said the Wales star.
“It’s been a conscious effort from one to 15 to work harder than last year and to try to repeat what we did last season.”
North arrived at Saints from Scarlets on the back of a British & Irish Lions tour last summer.
And he is clearly feeling the benefits of being given more time to recover ahead of the new campaign.
“It was a hell of a long season for me last year so it’s been nice to have a bit of a break,” he said.
“I think I might have peaked early for the season, but I’m pretty happy with that performance on Friday night.”