Excitement building as Lightning get set to strike at the Gardens

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Rhys Edwards says excitement is building among the Loughborough Lightning squad as they prepare to step out at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.15pm).

As part of their partnership with Saints, Lightning will play at the Gardens for the first time this weekend as they take on Exeter Chiefs Women in the Allianz Premier 15s.

And Loughborough director of rugby Edwards said: "It's pretty exciting.

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"Playing these big Premiership games is one thing, and it's a big game for us in terms of the league, but there's an added level of excitement because we're playing at the Gardens.

"The players have been looking forward to this one.

"The mood is pretty good.

"We've had a tough start to the year with players being on World Cup duty but we've had more consistent selection in recent weeks and the results are starting to show that.

"We've been on a pretty good run and we want to maintain that momentum to get into the top four, where we've been consistently.

Helena Rowland is one of Loughborough Lightning's key playersHelena Rowland is one of Loughborough Lightning's key players
Helena Rowland is one of Loughborough Lightning's key players

"Saturday is the start of a big few weeks for us.

"We've got some world class players here when they're available and it's about getting the consistency."

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So who are the players to look out for when sixth-placed Loughborough take on fourth-placed Exeter at the Gardens this weekend?

"We've got Sarah Hunter who is our player-coach, England captain, dependable and a big-game player," Edwards said.

"She will be at the forefront of Saturday's game as well as Lark Davies, who is probably the world's best hooker at the moment.

"Her try-scoring feats are backing that up.

"We've also got some young players who have been going well.

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"We've got a good blend of world class players and the next generation who are pretty exciting, like Helena Rowland at fly-half.

"It bodes well for us moving forward."

And what kind of style of play will Lightning employ?

"Hopefully pretty similar to the way the Saints boys play in terms of we're not afriad to throw the ball around," Edwards said.

"We've got the ability to keep it tight and play through if we need to, but ultimately the way we want to play is high tempo.

"We're trying to keep chipping away at these results and hopefully putting ourselves back in the top four and then going further from there."

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