Saints’ clash with Tigers will be a huge occasion, says Myler

Stephen Myler is set to take part in his 20th east midlands derby on Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Stephen Myler is set to take part in his 20th east midlands derby on Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Stephen Myler is ready for a ‘huge occasion’ at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday evening.

Saints and Leicester Tigers go head to head in one of the most crucial east midlands derbies in recent times.

If Saints lose, they know their bid to make the Aviva Premiership play-offs for a seventh successive season will be all but over.

But if they win, they can drag themselves closer, level or even above the Tigers, depending on the margin and nature of the victory.

And Myler said: “It’s always a big week when we play Leicester, particularly here at the Gardens.

“With it being so late in the season and a lot riding on the league points, it’s going to be a huge occasion.

“I’ve been here a while now and had the pleasure of being involved in these occasions and I’m fully aware of what it means to the club, the supporters and the players as well.

“It’s an exciting occasion that we’re looking forward to.”

Myler has played in a staggering 19 east midlands derbies since moving to Saints in 2006.

So does he pass some of his wisdom on the battles between the local rivals to his club’s younger players?

“You don’t have to say anything really,” Myler said.

“Most of these lads have been here and watched when they’ve not been involved in a playing capacity.

“It’s something you don’t really need to state the importance of because the people surrounding the club and the town will tell you.

“When it’s Leicester week, there’s a bit more buzz around the place.

“The important thing is to understand what’s on the line for us. It’s another league game, there’s points up for grabs and we need to get back to winning ways because of what we’re trying to achieve at the end of the season.”

With Saints knowing they need to win, the atmosphere is likely to be intense at the Gardens on Saturday evening.

But though Myler knows his men need the points, he refuses to feel the heat.

“I’m not sure pressure’s the right word,” he said. “You can’t really think of it like that.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get a win and get ourselves more points.

“Yes, there is a lot riding on it, but it’s important to embrace the occasion and not be overawed by it. That’s the key message I’ve taken over my many years playing in these occasions.

“You’ve got to play the game, not the occasion.”