Ludlam will judge the success of his own season on Saints silverware

Lewis Ludlam says he will judge the success of his own season on whether Saints secure the silverware they desire in the coming weeks.

By Tom Vickers
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 7:00 am
Lewis Ludlam has been in fine form
Lewis Ludlam has been in fine form

Ludlam has enjoyed a fantastic campaign to date, impressing whenever he has worn the black, green and gold.

The Saints skipper also got the call for England during the Six Nations, though a rib injury ensured he would only make one appearance, in the opener against Scotland.

But Ludlam is back fit now and he has certainly continued to fire in recent weeks.

He has helped Saints secure five successive wins in all competitions and they are now just four points off fourth in the Gallagher Premiership.

They also have a European Challenge Cup last-16 clash with Gloucester to look forward to at Kingsholm on Saturday night.

And Ludlam will not consider his season a success unless Saints lift trophies.

"The season's been good so far," said the 26-year-old. "It's been long but I'm really enjoying my rugby.

"I feel like I am as a player now, I know what I need to deliver and the prep has been good to get myself in that headspace to go out and perform consistently.

"For me personally, it's been good, but the real judge will be where we finish at the end of the season."

Ludlam was sidelined when Saints were enduring agonising late defeats to the likes of Sale, Exeter and Gloucester during the Six Nations period.

And he said: "It's tough being on the pitch and losing, and it's tough being off the pitch and not being able to do anything about it.

"It's frustrating - I would have liked to have been back a lot sooner from it (the injury) - but the way the boys held themselves and came in with solutions every Monday morning after tough losses was something that was really encouraging.

"We're in the position we're in now because of those few weeks where we were on the wrong side of things.

"It was definitely a learning period for us, but we've come out the right side of it."

Saints know that if they can win at Gloucester on Saturday, they can continue their European campaign into May.

If they don't prevail at Kingsholm, they will face plenty of time without matches during that month.

And Ludlam would prefer to just keep playing.

"It was weird having last week off because perhaps when you're going well you want to continue the momentum and keep going," he said.

"To have a week off was tough to get your head around but for us at this stage of the season it was a good chance for lads to decompress from rugby, get the head right mentally and get back on top of any niggles they've been struggling with for five or six weeks.

"It was good to decompress but we're ready to get back at it now.

"You've got to see both sides of things.

"We're a team that wants to play fast, wants to be fresh but momentum is a good thing.

"The message when we left here after the Bristol game was 'go away and decompress but when you come back in, keep that ball rolling'."