Wanderers set for final push at Franklin’s Gardens

HOLDING FIRM - Tom Stephenson holds off Gloucester as the Wanderers impess on their way to the 'A' League final (Picture: Linda Dawson)
HOLDING FIRM - Tom Stephenson holds off Gloucester as the Wanderers impess on their way to the 'A' League final (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Mark Hopley says the Wanderers class of 2013 have already learned a lot.

And he is hoping they can dish out another tutorial in the art of rugby in the Aviva ‘A’ League final on Monday night.

Saints’ shadow squad face Bath’s second string at Franklin’s Gardens, hoping to secure the club’s first silverware of the season.

The Wanderers set up the home showpiece thanks to scoring more tries than any other team on their way to claiming four wins from five games in the pool stages.

They then saw off a strong Harlequins team in the semi-final at the Gardens and will now take on a Bath team which is also full of talented players.

“They lads are learning a lot from playing in pressure situations and Monday will be another stern test against a good Bath side,” said Academy coach Hopley.

“They’ve won every single game on the way to this final and I think they’re a bit annoyed they’ve not got a home final and we have.

“All we want as a squad is a good turnout from the fans and hopefully we’ll put a big performance in.”

And Hopley knows the Wanderers will have to be a their best to claim glory.

He said: “Bath have shown they’re very tough up front, they’ve very abrasive and they’ve got lots of threats out wide. People like Kyle Eastmond have been there and he got capped by England in the summer, so for our youngsters it’s going to be a massive test.

“But so was Harlequins in the semi-final and we came through that. We’re looking to pass this test as well.”