The hard work starts here

EVERY game is tough at this top level of rugby, of course, but it’s fair to say that these next four weeks will give us a good indication as to where we are right now.

Sunday’s hard-fought victory in the driving rain at Headingley was a good win for us – now it’s leaders Northampton at Vicarage Road and it doesn’t get any tougher than that.

From then, it’s Leicester away then a Heineken Cup double header against Clermont and Leinster. The hard work starts here.

Northampton don’t have a 100 per cent record for nothing. They are a very neat and tidy side, who do their jobs well and are good at what they do. They play the basics well with a philosophy of putting execution before innovation. We will have to be on our mettle to beat them.

Last week we made a number of rotational changes, but this week we have been forced into a couple of alterations through injury. Justin Melck has a rib problem, while Alex Goode may be out for a couple of weeks after injuring his shoulder.

The injury has come at an awkward time for Alex, who was just finding his feet at fly-half, but if he quickly rediscovers his form on his return, there’s no reason why he couldn’t be considered for a possible England call-up. He could certainly do a job.

For ticket details on the game against Northampton Saints Saturday (ko 3pm), call the
ticket office on 01727 792800.