Calum Clark admits Saints’ recent rotation policy has been ‘hard to get your head round’ – but feels it will drive the players on to great things.
Jim Mallinder has taken the decision to mix things up this season, especially among the forwards, in a bid to keep the team fresh for the entire campaign.
In previous years they have fallen at the final hurdle, losing three successive Premiership play-off semi-finals and a Heineken Cup final during Mallinder’s tenure.
But with a stronger squad at his disposal this time round, the likes of Clark and last season’s player of the year Samu Manoa have had to make do with being swapped in and out.
And that, Clark says, has been difficult to get used to.
“It’s tough,” said the 24-year-old flanker. “It’s hard to get your head round because it’s something new to us, but you have to learn and take your chances when you get them.
“Whenever you’re on the field you have to go as hard as you can because we have got a lot of depth in the back five so it’s important we use it.
“In the short term you get annoyed, you’re not quite sure what’s going on in the coaches’ minds but in the long term that will all drive us on.
“You train alongside the blokes you’re rotating with and you’re getting a fair chance.
“When it comes to the big game it’s the ones who have done the best with that chance who will get picked so long term I think it’s a really good thing.”