Business as usual for Saints during lengthy break from action

It's very much business as usual at Saints during a strange break from action at the start of this month.

By Tom Vickers
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 10:20 am
Saints boss Chris Boyd
Saints boss Chris Boyd

Chris Boyd's side claimed their fifth successive bonus-point Gallagher Premiership win last Friday, beating Harlequins 32-31 at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

It ensured they would stay fourth ahead of a lengthy period of inactivity as they do not play again until they travel to Saracens for a league game on Saturday, May 21.

It means they have two full weekends without a match.

They will finish their season at home to Newcastle Falcons on June 4, following another weekend off in between that clash and the one at Saracens.

It is an unusual schedule that has occurred due to the decision to fit the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup into May.

Saints boss Chris Boyd was recently asked how Saints would handle a month in which his side play just once.

He said: "I don't think anyone who is looking solely at the Premiership would say to have three weeks off in the last five weeks of the competition is an optimal way to run it.

"It's an age-old problem in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of how you marry the domestic competition with the international game.

"It's a difficult problem and no one's come up with a good solution, but I doubt that anybody would say playing one Premiership game in May is a good thing for anybody.

"Even two weeks off in a row is probably not ideal but I'm not quite sure what the solution is.

"We've sat down with our medical and coaching people and tried to decide whether we try to play a friendly game, whether we have an internal game and how much time is given off."

And it's now apparent that there are unlikely to be any friendly matches but the players will continue to train as normal as they continue to build up to the Saracens game.

Saints will be desperately hoping to get some players back fit after taking several knocks against Quins.

They lost Juarno Augustus, Conor Carey, Paul Hill, Alex Coles and Fraser Dingwall to injury during that attritional encounter.

And they had already been without the likes of David Ribbans and Teimana Harrison, who were on the 'not considered for selection list'.