Northampton Saints prop Alex Waller says the club is desperate to return to Aviva Premiership action and halt a run of three straight defeats when they face London Welsh on Saturday.
Fifth-placed Saints have lost their last three in the league, and were narrowly beaten at Leicester Tigers last time out.
But they welcome Welsh to Franklin’s Gardens on the back of a morale boosting LV= Cup victory at Newport Gwent Dragons, with Waller keen to back that up against their tenth-placed visitors.
Welsh though were victors over Bath in their last Aviva Premiership fixture and Waller knows they cannot be underestimated.
“It is going to be fantastic playing at home again after being on the road last week,” said the 20-year-old loosehead.
“London Welsh are going to put up a good test. They are similar to Exeter; they have beaten some good teams and are a very physical team who play for each other.
“It is going to be a tough test and we can’t underestimate them as they have done well since coming into the Premiership.
“I think they raise their game against the better sides, I personally would so I can’t imagine they would be anything different. Everyone classes them as underdogs but it is against those teams where you can come unstuck.
“Losing our last three league games was a bit unfortunate so it was good to get back to winning ways in the LV= Cup against Newport last week. We have a bit of momentum.
“We are all determined to get back to winning ways in the Aviva Premiership – starting on Saturday. But we can’t underestimate Welsh because if we do they will beat us.”
Welsh centre Sonny Parker is another who is looking forward to the encounter. The former Wales international will make his first appearance at Franklin’s Gardens and is anticipating a tough test.
“I’ve played against Northampton before but never at Franklin’s Gardens so it will be a great experience,” he said.
“It’s a real rugby town and they have great support so it will be a good challenge for us.
“Their full-back Ben Foden is also due to be back and we know he is always a big threat, though hopefully he isn’t up to speed too quickly. We have to make sure we step up and not give them any space to attack.
“We’re pretty pleased with how our Premiership form is going. We got a really good win against Bath last time out so we want to keep that going.”