King urges Saints not to waste their hard work

Alex King is relishing the closing stages of the season (picture: Linda Dawson)
Alex King is relishing the closing stages of the season (picture: Linda Dawson)

Alex King has urged Saints not to let all of their hard work go to waste.

Jim Mallinder’s men face some crucial games during the new few weeks, with Sunday’s home clash with Harlequins followed by a trip to in-form Wasps.

Then comes a Champions Cup quarter-final at Saracens before league matches against Leicester Tigers, Bath and Gloucester.

Saints are still in the hunt for silverware on two fronts, but know they can’t afford many slip-ups in the coming weeks.

And attack coach King said: “It’s awesome.

“We’re in two competitions, it’s a great time of year and you want to validate all the hard work you’ve done.

“It’s an opportunity to win something for all your efforts.

“There’s been a good edge in training and we’re looking forward to Sunday.

“It’s a great challenge against a Quins team who will have one or two players back.

“They’re in the hunt as well and it’s going to be a scrap all the way to get in that final four.”

Saints sit above Harlequins in the league courtesy of a dramatic 27-23 victory at The Stoop last month.

Ben Foden scored a last-gasp try after Quins fly-half Ben Botica failed to put the ball out of play to end the encounter.

And King said: “It was a good game.

“It was one in which we rediscovered what Saints rugby is all about - moving the ball to space and combining the workload of backs and forwards.

“It was probably the first dry pitch we’d played on in about five months so we’re looking for more of the same at the Gardens this weekend.”

One man who will certainly be hoping for some more running rugby is George North, who has been back at Saints this week after starring for Wales in the Six Nations.

And King said: “He’s come back into the squad, training well and we’re looking forward to getting him back in a Saints shirt.

“He scored some good tries, particularly against Scotland and Italy, solo efforts, beating a lot of players, and now it’s firming up we need to get the ball to him and create space for him.”