Regular starting berth has helped Haywood's Saints form
Mike Haywood believes getting a run of starts has helped his form at Saints this season.
And he feels his friendly competition with fellow hooker Dylan Hartley can only be good for the team.
Haywood has been in fine form during this campaign, featuring in all 14 of his club’s games so far.
The 24-year-old has started nine of those, earning plenty of plaudits, including a couple of man of the match awards.
And Haywood said: “It’s great competition. If I’m playing well then it means Dyls has got to play well to keep his shirt, so it’s just good for the team really.
“The game time has helped me because when you play, you get better. I put it (the good performances) down to that really.”
Hartley, who started last weekend’s game against Glasgow Warriors, and Haywood will look to help Saints past Scarlets on Saturday evening.
Jim Mallinder’s men must beat the Welsh side and hope other results go their way as they bid to make the Champions Cup quarter-finals.
And Haywood said: “It really comes down to this. If we want to progress, we need to get those four points there and possibly get that bonus point as well.
“We know it’s going to be tough because they were decent when they came to Franklin’s Gardens (Saints won 15-11 in November).
“We need to make sure we put in that performance and hopefully get the win.
“It’s about getting the win first and if we can get the bonus point, that’s even better.
“But we’ve got to focus on beating them first. That would put us on 18 points, but Scarlets are going to be tough.”