Tupai ready to take his Saints chance

Connor Tupai says Saints' young guns can't wait to seize their opportunity on Saturday.

Connor Tupai
Connor Tupai

A youthful team is set to take to the field against London Irish in the Premiership Rugby Cup opener.

There are set to be several debuts made in front of the cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens faithful.

And for scrum-half Tupai, who will turn 22 next month, it is a chance to add to his 11 first-team appearances, only two of which have been starts.

"I'm feeling really positive about it," Tupai said.

"A good bunch of young boys going out there for the first time in front of our home crowd is always exciting.

"It will be good for the young boys to play in front of such a good crowd and on such good turf.

"It's going to be a bunch of young boys, some playing for the first time and all of us are trying to take the opportunity that's there.

"We want to play in front of the Saints crowd and all of us are excited.

"To get some minutes will be good.

"We've got a good bunch of scrum-halves here. Mitch (Alex Mitchell) made his debut for England last weekend and that was good to see.

"It's competitive - and I wouldn't have it any other way.

"We all make each other better so it's good.

"I've got to be patient, wait for my time and carry on playing."

Tupai has been learning his trade with Championship outfit Bedford Blues in recent times.

And he said: "It's been good.

"I love the relationship we have with Bedford - it's a good place to go and play rugby, and they play a similar brand to us.

"They're a good bunch of boys and if we're not getting minutes here it's always nice to play.

"It's a positive to have some other Saints players there and to have a laugh on the way there, but the boys at Bedford are a good bunch as well and I've known them a while now.

"They play and share a similar passion to us because they like throwing the ball around, they like playing fast so it's quite an easy transition.

"The Championship style is good. A few teams like to play a boring brand of rugby - scrum, maul, scrum, maul - but Bedford play like us: fast, width to width so on a dry day it's exciting.

"The Champ is a good level of rugby so if we do get the opportunity to come up to the Prem, it shouldn't be too much of a difference."