Fixtures - Top Bar

Charlie Clare calling on Northampton Saints to hit the ground running

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Hooker Charlie Clare believes Northampton Saints must hit the ground running if they are to fully reach their potential in the Anglo-Welsh Cup – starting with Sunday’s trip to Newcastle Falcons.

The Midlanders have had a far from perfect start to the Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign, sitting with more defeats than victories in their bid to return to the top four after last season’s fifth-place finish.

But for Clare, the Anglo-Welsh Cup provides an opportunity to start afresh.

It’s a competition Saints have enjoyed recent success in, winning the tournament in 2010 and going on to once again reach the final four years later before missing out to first-time winners Exeter Chiefs.

But with a tricky trip to Kingston Park the weekend’s test, Clare knows it will be far from straightforward facing off against a side just one point and one place below them in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

And with Saints sitting on a disappointing away record that has seen them win just one game away from Franklin’s Gardens this term, the forward knows this is an opportunity to gain much-needed momentum.

“It all starts with this weekend, if we can go up there and win at Newcastle then the rest can take care of itself,” he said.

“A win early on will allow us to start looking at where we want to end up in the competition.

“That gives momentum through the team, and if we can start well then we’ll have a happy camp and hopefully that can feed through into other competitions.

“Our away form this season has not been fantastic, but if we take each game as it comes, so long as we stay positive then I’m sure we’ll be okay.

“Teams are going away from home and picking up more and more results so it’s massively important that we’re not just reliant on our home form.”

The Anglo-Welsh Cup has often proved a valuable breeding ground for young talent to emerge – and Clare is hoping that this season is no different.

The front-rower has featured in a Saints shirt five times since signing from Bedford Blues this summer, all as a replacement during domestic and European action.

And the 24-year-old is hoping the Anglo-Welsh cup can help catch the eye of those at Franklin’s Gardens, looking to force his way into the hooker’s jersey on a more regular basis when Dylan Hartley leaves for England duty in the coming weeks.

“We’ve kept a lot of the focus on ourselves, it’s a young group of players hungry for that opportunity,” he continued.

“It’s about going to Newcastle and sticking together as a unit to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning.

“There are a lot of lads out there who are wanting to bring something to the team and if that can give us momentum for the season then it’s something we want to capitalise on.”

The Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks off this weekend and for all the fixtures and details of the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on 19 March see www.new-heroes.com

Upcoming Fixtures - Embedded Content widgets

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball