Waller insists Saints won't be caught sleeping at Saracens

Breaks from action haven’t typically served Saints too well over the years.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 12:50 pm
Alex Waller
Alex Waller

Often they have come back and found themselves feeling a little sluggish, struggling to get back into their stride.

That was emphasised when they fell 21-0 down in a European Challenge Cup last-16 clash at Gloucester last month, having had the previous weekend off.

Saints were slow out of the blocks, and they were quickly sent spiralling out of Europe because of it.

But with every league point now crucial in the final two games of the regular season, Chris Boyd’s side know they can’t afford any slip-ups.

And experienced prop Alex Waller feels a feisty intra-squad match at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens will serve his team well ahead of Saturday’s big Gallagher Premiership game at Saracens.

“We’ve been training pretty hard and we had an in-house game last week so we’re pretty battle-ready,” Waller said.

"We’ve also been able to freshen up and it’s a fine balance with those weeks off because you don’t want to take your foot off the gas too much.

"I think we’ve got it just right and I’m looking forward to seeing the hard work we’ve put in without games come to fruition.”

Saints’ most recent outing feels like forever ago.

It came at the end of last month when Chris Boyd’s battered, bruised and depleted side beat Harlequins thanks to a last-gasp James Grayson penalty from close to halfway.

And there is no doubt Saints needed some rest after losing five players to injury during that Quins clash.

"It’s been nice to have a little time off and the body needs it,” Waller said.

"We’d obviously have liked to be competing in Europe but you’ve got to take what you’re given and a couple of weeks off is probably good for us.

"We unfortunately had a couple of injuries and hopefully those lads are mending well. We’ve got some regeneration into some of the lads and it’s been a good couple of weeks.”

Waller insists he hasn’t spent the past few weeks retraining as a tighthead prop after coming on in that position, albeit it with uncontested scrums, against Quins following the loss of Paul Hill and Conor Carey to injury.

"I’m absolutely not becoming a tighthead,” Waller said, “we’d have to renegotiate my contract if that was the case.

"Those boys are paid the big bucks!”

Waller is proud of what Saints have been able to achieve in recent times, racking up five successive bonus-point wins in the Gallagher Premiership.

"We’re pretty happy with it,” he said.

"We had a chat at the beginning of that run and we spoke about taking control and doing what we want to do.

"Our destiny is in our hands.

"We’ve taken it game by game.

"We had a blip in Europe but that’s gone now and in the Premiership we’re flying pretty high.

"It’s a good place to be in at the moment and the mood’s pretty good.”