Lawes eager for Saints to get a second chance
'‹Courtney Lawes admits this week's waiting game will be strange for the Saints players.
But he is hoping they get a chance to put things right this season.
Lawes put in a big performance as Saints secured a 22-20 Aviva Premiership final-day win against Harlequins on Saturday.
But it was only enough for a seventh-placed finish as Quins took sixth thanks to winning more matches in the league this season.
That means Saints will be playing in the Challenge Cup next season, unless Stade Français beat Gloucester in the final of that competition on Friday.
If that happens, Saints will go into a play-off against Connacht at Franklin's Gardens on the following weekend.
If they win that, they would host Stade Français or Cardiff Blues, with the winner of that match earning a Champions Cup spot.
It means Saints will still have to train this week, just in case they get their play-off chance.
“It’s obviously tough to come seventh,” Lawes said.
“It’s tough after having so many opportunities this season to do better but it is what it is now and we need to just stick together, see what happens this weekend and go from there.
“It’ll be strange waiting but it doesn’t change much for me personally and the other boys that are going on (international) tours. For everyone else though it will definitely be strange.
“You don’t know whether you’re coming or going at the moment but like I said, we’ve just got to stick together, stay positive, train well this week and see what happens.”
And he added: “It’s a strange situation to be thinking about cheering on a French team.
“But we want to be in the Champions Cup next year and hopefully we get the opportunity to do that.
“We’ve certainly performed in patches this season but consistently we haven’t had the ability to put away games when we’ve been in the lead.
“But I don’t think we’re necessarily that far away from the top four. I think in terms of the players we have here; we could easily be a top-four team.
“Things haven’t quite gone our way this season and there are certainly things that we have to address for next season but as long as we do that I feel positive that we can pull it together next year with the ability we have in the team.”