No problems with focus at Saints

Pictures by Linda Dawson
Pictures by Linda Dawson

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder insists it has been easy for his players to concentrate on tomorrow’s Aviva Premiership trip to Bath despite all the off-field attention the club has been receiving.

The Saints have seen two of their players - Dylan Hartley and Calum Clark - given lengthy bans this week.

But with just three points separating them from the chasing pack in the hunt for a semi-final spot Mallinder says that the team has been fully focused on getting a positive result in tomorrow’s game.

“It’s been easy to concentrate on this weekend because it is a massive game for us,” he said.

“If we don’t concentrate then we’ll go down to Bath and get beaten. But we’ve had our focus on Saturday’s game, the lads have trained well and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“We’ve got a good side for the game, but so do they. They’ve lost a number of players through injury, but so have we, so it’s going to be a tough match. They’re difficult to stop when they get on the front foot and get their offloading game going, but so are we and we will need to take the game to them.”

Saints: Foden, Ashton, Pisi, Downey, Diggin, Lamb, Dickson; Tonga’uiha, Long, Mujati, Sorenson, Day, Craig, Dowson, Wilson. Reps: McMillan, Waller, Doran Jones, Harrison, Ingle, Roberts, Myler, May.