TOP BAR - Fixtures

Waldouck’s making every minute count

Such is the abundance of talent at Northampton Saints that Dom Waldouck admits he’s struggling to even break the matchday squad, but the fit-again centre is not about to give up without a fight.

Waldouck’s Saints career has been more off than on, enjoying a flying start in the 2012-13 Aviva Premiership Rugby season before injuries began to take their toll.

But now fully fit after two serious leg injuries there is another big hurdle to overcome – Saints’ strength in depth.

And though fleeting league appearances at the start of the campaign have not led to further involvement quite yet, this block of LV= Cup games is a chance for Waldouck to make his point.

“It was my first start for a while, it’s great to be back out there,” said Waldouck after featuring in defeat at Leicester Tigers last weekend. “Though in any game you never want to be on the losing side, I enjoyed it.

“I felt fine as I’ve been training back for a while and been keeping my skills sharp, and it’s bound to take a game or two to get the match sharpness back.

“I haven’t had any further injuries since coming back, it’s just a very competitive squad and when you’re not starting it’s tough to even get on the bench. I only really play centre and don’t cover any other position so that hasn’t helped.

“But I still think I can contribute at this level and it’s up to me to show it.”

As far as Saints’ LV= Cup chances go, Jim Mallinder’s men must beat Wasps and rely on Cardiff Blues slipping up against Leicester Tigers to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

And it was their age-old rivals who put them to the sword last time out as Tigers bagged a 17-8 win in front of a sell-out Welford Road.

But Waldouck added: “The youngsters definitely impressed out there. The LV= Cup gives an opportunity for those players to show their talent on a big stage, and I think they handled themselves well in front of a sell-out crowd.

“It was a bit disappointing as we made a few errors that lost us the game but you can tell that there are a lot of good young players here and it reflects the work being done in the academy by the likes of Dusty Hare.

“Our objective this week is on performance. If we sneak through to the knockouts that’s great, but first and foremost we’re looking for improvement.

“And it’s also another chance for me to keep playing which is the most important thing for me between now and the end of the season.”

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

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