Return of international stars has lifted ‘intensity’ at Saints

BACK IN THE CLUB FRAME - England stars Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood

BACK IN THE CLUB FRAME - England stars Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood

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Alan Dickens says the return of Saints’ international stars has lifted the intensity levels at Franklin’s Gardens.

Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood have all returned from England duty this week, following the conclusion of the autumn internationals.

Samoa stars Ken Pisi and Kahn Fotuali’i were back in the mix last weekend, coming off the bench in the win at London Welsh.

And Dickens is delighted to have so many key men back ahead of Saturday’s crucial Champions Cup trip to Treviso.

“The level of intensity has risen and you can see the international lads are switched on,” said the assistant coach.

“They’re straight back into how we think here at Northampton Saints and they’re desperate to get involved.

“International rugby is pretty brutal, but all of them are okay and have trained this week.”