Christian Day insists Northampton Saints’ fine recent record against Saracens gives his side a real confidence boost heading into Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby clash.
First meets second at Stadium:mk on Saturday but table toppers Saints have struggled of late, winning only one of their last five games in all competitions.
Sarries meanwhile are coming off the back of a narrow defeat in the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final to Clermont Auvergne, conquerors of Saints in the round before.
Saints claimed their first ever Premiership title with a dramatic extra-time victory over Sarries at Twickneham in last year’s final and are also the only team to have beaten them this season at their home of Allianz Park.
And with a home semi-final in their sights, Day insists he and his teammates are itching to get back to action after a week’s rest.
“We have got good memories from last year, in fact probably the last five or six times we have played Sarries we have had good results,” he said.
“They are a great team, play a good brand of rugby, very physical and have a good kicking game but we know we need to deal with that, we managed last year and away this season.
“We beat them at the Allianz this season which no other team has managed to do.
“It’s been a good point of the season to have a rest, a few people are carrying some knocks that will have cleared up hopefully.
“Everyone is fresh for the weekend. (Without a rest) you get the pros of being battle hardened but they might be carrying some knocks.”
Northampton have played four previous matches at Stadium:mk winning the first two, against Ulster and Perpignan in the European Cup in 2011, but losing the last two in 2012 against Munster in the European Cup and Saracens in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Saracens have won their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters since tripping up 14-10 at Sale Sharks in round 15 but have won only one of their last five fixtures with the Saints in the league.
And despite European defeat last time out, fly-half Owen Farrell is excited about what the season run-in holds after returning from long-term injury last week.
“I think we’re OK in that sense,” said Farrell when asked if the defeat in France would affect the side for the remainder of the season. “We’re very excited for what we’ve got coming up in the next few weeks.
“We will learn the lessons of this game and become a better team for it. We have some massive games coming up now and we will try to get a home semi-final and push on in the Aviva Premiership.”
Referee: Greg Garner (80th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle & Andrew Jackson. TMO: Rowan Kitt.
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