Saints so happy to have Collins back

Tom Collins started for Saints at Sale (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Tom Collins started for Saints at Sale (picture: Sharon Lucey)
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Saints' interim head coach Alan Dickens says it is really good to have Tom Collins back in action.

Collins made his first appearance since November as he started in Saints' 24-20 Anglo-Welsh Cup victory at Sale Sharks on Saturday.

The 23-year-old was due to be on the bench but was named in the starting line-up after George North's late withdrawal, which Saints say was precautionary.

And Collins, who had been sidelined since sustaining a foot injury in a Wanderers win against Sale, looked sharp as he helped his team to a dramatic late victory.

"It was really good to see him back," said Dickens.

"He's been out for a while and it was pleasing to see him playing again.

"We spoke before the game about players having opportunities and Reece Marshall at hooker also did well.

"Tom Stephenson continues to play after a long stint out so it's good for us."

Dickens was also pleased with the performance of the Saints forwards at the AJ Bell Stadium.

He said: "The pack were good.

"If we're being critical, we need to be more accurate with what we're doing off the mauls.

"We got some good scrum penalties away from home and that was certainly a positive for us."

Saints have now won two of their three Anglo-Welsh Cup matches and can book a semi-final spot by beating Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens on Friday night.

"We've got two competitions we can perform in and we're focusing on both," Dickens said.

"What pleased me most last Saturday was that we stuck in there, we went through the phases at the end, we were patient and we got the score.

"It was a fantastic result."