Jon Fisher’s Northampton Saints career started with a number of eye-catching performances and though an injury slowed him down, the back-row is desperate to pick up where he left off in the LV= Cup this weekend.
Fisher, 26, could be in line for his first appearance since early November after going down with a foot injury at Scarlets – their second LV= Cup game of the campaign.
Without him Saints motored on to three wins out of four and the top of Pool 2, though that was not enough to clinch home advantage.
Instead they must play one more game in order to return to Franklin’s Gardens for the final and there are few more intimidating places to travel than Allianz Park and the might of Saracens.
Saints did get the better of the Londoners last year at the semi-final stage – albeit in Northampton – before Exeter Chiefs emerged triumphant from their own home final at Sandy Park to lift the LV= Cup.
And though Fisher did not feel that particular pain while at London Irish last year, he insists the motivation to bring home the silverware could not be higher.
“I’m feeling good and hopefully I’ll be getting the opportunities again over the next month – I’ve been back training for nearly three weeks now,” he said.
“Before I was injured I feel like I took those opportunities and that when I came in I did a job. We were winning games and things all fell into place.
“Unfortunately that run was cut short by injury but I’ve spent the last two months proving myself physically and I
can’t wait to come back.
“This weekend is massive, we want to bring silverware to the club and especially after what happened last year, the boys have spoken about how tough the defeat was to take.
“To lose out by such a fine margin was tough so we’ve been putting in considerable effort over the past few weeks to make sure that doesn’t happen this year. The desire and the ambition is always there.”
Fisher was set for his most productive season in Aviva Premiership Rugby to date – and could still get there – having made six appearances before his injury.
His influence could increase further next season with the impending departures of pack powerhouses Samu Manoa and Phil Dowson, and he admits besting Saracens would be the perfect way for every player to prove his worth.
“Samu and Phil are very much unique players and are fantastic servants to the club,” added Fisher, who signed a fresh contract at Saints last month. “But it’s not a case of replacing them – the guys, and myself included, we offer something different as individuals and it’s up to us to put our best foot forward.
“We’re aware of Saracens’ threat, defensively they are formidable, but we have to focus on our own performance and this weekend everyone has the chance to show what they can do.
"As a pack of forwards, there are definitely certain standards we need to meet in order to win.”
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