Saints to use pain for gain against Saracens, says Wood

Tom Wood is likely to be in action against Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Tom Wood is likely to be in action against Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Tom Wood says the pain of missing out on a Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens will fire Saints for Saturday’s clash between the sides at stadium:mk.

Wood and Co were forced to watch on as Sarries travelled to St Etienne to face Clermont Auvergne last Saturday.

Saints were savagely beaten by the French side two weeks earlier, losing 37-5 at Stade Marcel Michelin.

And Wood did not enjoy sitting on the sofa last weekend as Sarries, who were the last English team standing, did battle, eventually being edged out 13-9.

“You don’t want weeks off at this time of the year because there are big competitions to play in and you don’t want to watch Sarries and the like competing in semi-finals while we’re sat at home,” said the England star.

“It’s the only chance we do get to have a week off and freshen up so you’ve got to take that while you’re given it, but at the same time you don’t want to be watching big semi-finals.

“There’s a little extra incentive, a little bit of hurt and anger to put in the bank for this weekend.”

Wood has seen more than enough of Saracens in the build-up to this weekend’s game, viewing the Clermont clash at home and in team reviews.

He was impressed with what he saw and knows Saints will have to improve significantly from their most recent outing - the defeat at Exeter - to compete.

“Credit to Saracens, they’re a tough outfit to break down, they gave a real good account of themselves,” said Wood.

“They did a much better job than us at containing Clermont and putting them under a lot of pressure.

“Unfortunately, they just came up short and as an English man I’m always rooting for the likes of Saracens.

“I know we have local rivalries in the Premiership but I still want the English teams to do well in that competition.

“From a selfish point of view, the more resources they have to put into other competitions and the harder they have to fight, the easier it may be for us.”