TOP BAR - Fixtures

Day: Saints’ title tilt will be a squad effort

You are never going to be able to find a like-for-like deal when you a lose a man of Samu Manoa’s particular skillset.

And that is why this year’s Northampton Saints are planning on using all of their squad in their bid for Aviva Premiership Rugby glory, according to lock Christian Day.

The departure of Manoa and Salesi Ma’afu to Toulon created a gaping hole in the Saints pack but they have recruited very shrewdly indeed.

The likes of Kieran Brookes, Michael Paterson and Jamie Gibson have all come in to beef up the forwards after their play-off disappointment last season.

Saints topped the regular season table but were stung by Saracens on their own patch in the semi-finals and started this new season with a last-gasp loss to Worcester Warriors.

And after a summer of new faces arriving at Franklin’s Gardens, Day admits it was always going to take time for the squad to gel.

“We are very positive, it’s the first game of the season and we didn’t perform but we got a losing bonus point which I suppose is a small silver lining," he said.

“We know we need to perform better if we want to get back to last season where we were good at picking up the points even when we were not at our best.

“We are playing a bit of catch up which is not ideal, we have internationals away and they are always going to be some of your more established and experienced players.

“But they are back in the mix now and we are ready to go.

“We have certainly established a strength in depth across every position, we have two or three guys who can step up and do the job without a drop in performance.

“There are about 20 back-to-back games coming up between now and April when I think we get our first week off. The coaches are aware of that and squad rotation is going to be crucial.

“Samu is a pretty special athlete with his carrying and his aerial ability but now we know that we cannot rely on one or two people to play week in week out like he did. It is a squad game.”

The highest profile recruit for Saints is yet to arrive however, Springbok Victor Matfield is still on patrol at the World Cup.

But the lock will soon be in the midlands and Day knows he will have his work cut out for him to keep a spot in the second row with a World Cup winner around.

“Victor is obviously going to be direct competition for me but I will relish the challenge,” added the 32-year-old.

“And if I am going to pick up anything new and learn something at my age then it is probably going to be him considering his fantastic experience!

“There is certainly a hunger in this team, there has to be if you want to be a champion club. We were top of the table last season and deserved to be I think, but Sarries came here and put in a good performance.

“We cannot complain, but it certainly has given us a bit of extra hunger over the summer and coming into the season.”

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem
 

Latest News

O’Callaghan named Warriors captain for 2017/18 campaign

Donncha O'Callaghan will lead Warriors during Gary Gold's first full season in charge after being named as the Club's captain…

O’Callaghan named Warriors captain for 2017/18 campaign

2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup fixtures announced

Champions Cup holders, Saracens, will be looking to become only the second club in history to secure a European three-in-a-row…

Jonathan Fisher returns to London Irish

New academy forwards coach Jonathan Fisher says the opportunity to return to London Irish was too good to turn down.…

Jonathan Fisher returns to London Irish

Bermuda sets Saracens up for Philadelphia, says Chris Wyles

Social media would suggest that Saracens were just having a laugh in Bermuda last week during pre-season, but nothing could…

Chris Wyles

O’Callaghan and Stringer to face former club Munster

Donncha O'Callaghan will lead Warriors against his old side Munster Rugby on Thursday at Sixways in their final pre-season clash…

O’Callaghan and Stringer to face former club Munster

London Irish face Edinburgh in European opener

London Irish kick-off their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign at home to Edinburgh Rugby on Saturday, 14 October. The Pro14…

European fixtures to be released today

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Joe Launchbury named as Wasps captain for 2017/18

England lock Joe Launchbury continues as Wasps’ captain for the 2017/18 season, having led the side to the Aviva Premiership…

Joe Launchbury

Wasps and Under Armour launch 150th anniversary season kit

Inspired by Wasps’ rich history and combined with Under Armour’s innovative technology, the new kits will be worn by the…

Wasps Kit 17/18

Bath Rugby to continue supporting existing charity partners for the 2017/18 season

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that the Club will continue to support Bath Cats and Dogs Home, RUH Forever…

Bath Supporters

Anthony Perenise re-joins Bath Rugby for 2017/18 campaign

Bath Rugby is delighted to announce that tighthead prop Anthony Perenise will be re-joining the Club in time for the…

Anthony Perenise

Wasps name team for Connacht clash

Dai Young has named a 27-man squad to take on Connacht Rugby at the Ricoh Arena on Wednesday evening, kick-off…

Defensive display pleases Kennedy

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy was pleased with his side’s defensive display during Friday’s 29-6 victory over Ealing…

Three charities to benefit from Wasps 150th anniversary season

Wasps are proving that charity begins at home as they gear up to mark the club’s 150th anniversary. Dai Young’s…

Wasps celebrate

Temporary replacement period for off-field HIA now fixed at ten minutes

World Rugby has approved an amendment to law making it mandatory for players who undertake an off-field screening under the…

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili