King urges Saints to sink Wasps and keep LV= Cup hopes alive

Alex King
Alex King

Alex King has urged Saints to give themselves the ‘best possible opportunity’ to progress from LV= Cup Pool 2 by putting Wasps to the sword on Saturday.

Both sides possess slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals after falling to defeat last weekend.

Saints were beaten 17-8 at Leicester Tigers, while Wasps surrendered a sizeable lead against Cardiff Blues, enduring an agonising 45-42 loss at the Ricoh Arena.

Northampton now need Leicester to deprive Cardiff of a point at the Arms Park on Saturday, while Wasps require the opposite outcome.

Both teams know they must try to seize a bonus-point success at Franklin’s Gardens and King wants Saints to go all out for victory.

“It was a bizarre game at Wasps last weekend and I’m sure they’ve had a tough week there, especially defensively,” said the attack coach.

“They’re a proud team, a proud club and they will want to bounce back immediately.

“Both teams will have a mixed selection and it’s what the LV= Cup’s about.

“Unfortunately, qualification isn’t in our hands, but we’ll do everything we can to give us the best possible opportunity.”

While King will be firmly in the Northampton camp this weekend, he also possesses a fondness for Wasps, having made 170 appearances for the club during his playing days.

Dai Young’s men had endured some dark days before moving from High Wycombe to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena in December, and the relocation has given Wasps an added buzz.

King is pleased to see the progression at a club where he enjoyed such success and he believes their move to the midlands is a positive thing.

“The generation we played in, we grew up together with seven or eight individuals who drove that team forward for a number of years,” he reflected.

“We had some good success but it was a warning to every club that unless you invest and keep your best players, you can struggle pretty quickly.

“We’ve seen it in France with Biarritz and Perpignan, two former champions who have got relegated.

“A few years ago Wasps were pretty close to being in real trouble but Dai Young’s come in and done a great job in turning it round.

“The move to Coventry has given them some stability a good infrastructure and they’re going well.

“They’ve qualified for the quarter-finals of the European Cup and are in the top four of the Premiership as well.

“There’s always been a good spirit there, a good culture but now with good investment and infrastructure, it’s great for the midlands that there are three big clubs in the area.”