Groom backs countryman Reinach to be a big hit at Saints
Nic Groom believes countryman Cobus Reinach will be a great signing for Saints.
Reinach will arrive from South African Super Rugby side the Sharks for next season.
Groom, who moved to Saints from the Stormers last summer, has played against the 27-year-old on numerous occasions back home.
And the current Northampton No.9 is backing Reinach to be a big hit at Franklin’s Gardens.
“I’ve played against him for years,” Groom said.
“I don’t know him too well, but it’s really good for the club.
“I’m sure he’ll be really good.”
And when asked what Reinach, who has won 10 caps for South Africa, is like to play against, Groom said: “He’s standard South African opposition.
“All the scrum-halves are really feisty and competitive.”
But for now, Groom will put the impending friendly rivalry with Reinach to one side as he focuses on helping Saints secure a top-six spot in the Aviva Premiership.
Jim Mallinder’s men lost to Leicester Tigers at the Gardens last time out and now sit seventh in the standings, two points behind sixth-placed Harlequins.
Saints must travel to the Ricoh Arena to face table-topping Wasps on Sunday.
And Groom said: “We’ve been keeping a close eye on them. Their last game (last weekend’s Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Leinster) gave us some good reference points.
“When you’re coming off a result like they had last weekend it tests you. It tests your character a bit, but for them it will be a different competition and easy to shift focus.
“They will definitely be challenged as we are challenged after not winning.
“We know what the consequences are going forward so it really puts the pressure on both sides to deliver.
Wasps have been scoring tries for fun this season.
And Groom said: “Every team poses a different threat from an attacking perspective and we know they are a massive threat with really fast players and attacking playmakers.
“For us, it’s about combatting those threats and we need to focus on ourselves.
“It’s up to us to do what we want to do and then they will have to stop it.”
So what can Saints achieve, with four games of the regular season remaining?
“Finishing in the top six is part of our plan going forward,” Groom said.
“Top four might be out of our hands now, but we want to play good rugby and get the wins week in, week out.
“This weekend’s game is massive.
“Wasps have a whole bunch of quality, world class players, guys playing with a lot of freedom and they’ve got a really good balance between forwards and backs.
“Defensively we’ll really be up against it.
“We’ll expect them to bring their usual flair and we’ve been making good plans for that.
“If we hold onto the ball and starve them of possession, they need to stop us and the focus shifts on what we need to do.
“If we don’t give them free ball, it puts their dangerous runners in a bit of a hole.”