Nutley: Senior Saints stars now looking over their shoulders

PUTTING PRESSURE ON - Ben Nutley is ready to challenge for a regular starting spot (Picture: Steven Eaton)

PUTTING PRESSURE ON - Ben Nutley is ready to challenge for a regular starting spot (Picture: Steven Eaton)

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Ben Nutley believes some of Saints’ first-team stars will now be looking over their shoulders ahead of the trip to Saracens on Sunday.

That is because the fringe players and youngsters who came into the side against Sale last Thursday made a big impression in the 28-14 Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final success.

Nutley was one of the stars of the show as he grabbed two tries in an impressive all-round display.

And the 22-year-old is now hoping to put the pressure on the likes of Phil Dowson and Calum Clark when the Premiership action returns this weekend.

“There was a lot of chat before the game at Sale about opportunities and there were a lot of lads who put their hand up,” said the flanker.

“There are a lot of lads looking to knock on the coach’s door now. It’s a huge squad competition and it’s good for the squad and the team.

“A few boys will be looking over their shoulders now and that’s good for the squad.”

Nutley didn’t want to take too much credit for his brace at the AJ Bell Stadium, preferring to deflect the praise on to his fellow forwards.

But he was delighted with the way in which every member of the squad stood up to be counted after a run of three successive defeats and is now targeting European glory.

“I’ve got to thank James Craig for it (one of the tries) because I was poaching at the back, but I’ll probably tell everyone who hasn’t seen it that it was a 50-metre breakaway,” joked Nutley.

“It was good to get two tries under my belt and the win because it’s a quarter-final, knockout rugby and hopefully we can get another final this year.

“Hopefully we can go one better than the LV= Cup and win it.

“We’d had a bad run for the past few weeks and a few players were rested so it shows the strength of the squad that we could come into a European game and win.”