Wilson reveals secret of Saints’ success

James Wilson says simplicity has been key to Saints’ success this season.

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 22nd November 2013, 6:18 pm
KEEPING IT SIMPLE - James Wilson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
KEEPING IT SIMPLE - James Wilson (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder’s men have won eight of their first 11 games in all competitions, including their last five.

They have won all five of their games at Franklin’s Gardens, scoring 23 tries in the process as teams like Ospreys and Saracens have come and gone without a point to their names.

The arrival of coach Alex King from Clermont Auvergne has clearly had an impact on Saints’ attacking game, which is flourishing under the former England fly-half’s tuition.

And Kiwi utility back Wilson has been revelling in the basic style of play that has been brought in.

“With Kingy coming in, he’s added,” said the 30-year-old. “We’re knowing our roles, that’s the big thing. Everyone knows everyone’s role, where they should be and we’re doing simple things really well.

“We’re not looking to light up the world with this amazing game of rugby. It’s simple rugby we’re playing but we’re playing it really well and that’s key. It’s what we want to keep on doing.

“We’re putting pressure on teams and making them play a bit. It’s simple stuff done really well and that’s helping us out.”

Saints were stuttering at this stage last season, seeing a five-match winning streak come to an abrupt end at London Irish before suffering turgid defeats to Saracens and Leicester.

There was a lack of fluency in their game at times but that was ironed out towards the end of the previous campaign and they have continued to improve at the start of this one.

“Everyone’s on the same page,” said Wilson. “It’s a common thing to say but we’re all after one thing and that’s to get the win and keep on getting the wins.

“We want to achieve as a collective so we’re not doing things separately, we’re doing them all together and that’s massive for us.

“Not saying we weren’t thinking that last year but there were obviously little disappointments every now and then but we’re on a positive note this year.

“Everyone seems to be fit, everyone seems to be pushing each other and it’s good.”

Wilson arrived at Saints last summer following a spell at French side Bourgoin and he has gone on to establish himself as a key component of the squad.

His versatility has been crucial, with the Kiwi playing at full-back, in the centre, on the wing and also acting as a back-up fly-half.

And he said: “I’ve enjoyed it. Being here has helped my game.

“The competition is the big thing. I’ve never been in a team where there’s been so much class, so much talent. That pushes you, it makes you a better player.

“It’s only a positive really. It’s developed my game. We’ve got a great team here.”