Saints to field 'decent side' at Clermont

Chris Boyd is formulating his selection plan for Saints' clash with Clermont Auvergne (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Chris Boyd is formulating his selection plan for Saints' clash with Clermont Auvergne (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Chris Boyd says Saints will field 'a decent side' as they bid to claim a Challenge Cup victory at Clermont Auvergne on Saturday (kick-off 8pm GMT).

The French giants go into the game in fine form and are five points clear of Saints at the top of Pool 1.

Saints lost 41-20 at home to Clermont in November and will need a bonus-point win while depriving their hosts of a point if they are to keep realistic hopes alive of topping the pool.

Boyd's men will finish their group stage campaign at home to Romanian side Timisoara Saracens on January 18, while Clermont must go to the Dragons on the same night.

And Boyd, who has seen his team pick up 15 points from four pool matches so far, said: "We've got to try to work out in the bigger scheme of things how we approach this game.

"Clermont are top of our pool and deservedly so.

"They gave us our biggest pasting of the year at home and we struggled to deal with them because they're a very good side.

"We'll get a plan together and work it out.

"We wouldn't want to disrespect Clermont and what they stand for in any way shape or form so we'll be putting a decent side out to go and get a victory."

Saints go into Saturday night's game on the back of a disappointing 27-16 defeat at Wasps last Sunday.

The black, green and gold failed to score a single point during the second half of the Gallagher Premiership clash as they dropped to ninth in the standings.

And Boyd was left to question why his men were unable to back up the big win they claimed against Exeter Chiefs on the previous weekend.

"We've asked the question of ourselves in the shed (changing room) about how we can find a way to be as energised as we were against Exeter consistently, week in, week out," he said.

"I've been coaching footy for a long time and although momentum is your friend, two games doesn't make momentum.

"We've stalled a little bit and we go into Europe now. And instead of coming back to the Premiership in February sitting fifth, we will be sitting ninth."