Waller says Saints squad have learned from derby heartache

CONFIDENT - Ethan Waller

CONFIDENT - Ethan Waller

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Ethan Waller believes Saints have learned valuable lessons from derby day heartache at the hands of Leicester Tigers.

And the prop is now hopeful a fresh-faced crop of Northampton players can continue their club’s good recent record in east midlands match-ups.

Saints had failed to win in 10 successive games against Tigers before turning them over 21-20 in last May’s Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final at Franklin’s Gardens.

Since then, they have also edged out Richard Cockerill’s men in a regular-season showdown, earning a valiant 23-19 victory at the Gardens just before Christmas.

And ahead of Saturday’s LV= Cup clash at Welford Road, Waller said: “I scored in the fixture at Franklin’s Gardens last March and we ended up losing that in the last few minutes of the game.

“But you’ve got to take those losses because they’re something you learn from.

“Since then, we’ve beaten them twice so it’s obviously something we did learn from and hopefully we can continue that winning run this weekend.”

Both sides will be shorn of a host of international stars, with the Six Nations set to start on February 6.

But Waller believes Saints have shown they can cope without key men, and is backing them to do so in the next few weeks.

“People always talk about us losing the internationals around this period, but now we’ve got massive depth in the squad,” said the 22-year-old.

“The win at Sale in last season’s Amlin Challenge Cup was a big marker for the team because we went up there, turned them over and went into the next round.

“Hopefully this year we can get a winning run in the LV= Cup and a home final is a big incentive for everyone. It should be exciting.”