Saints boss Boyd discusses return of World Cup duo and arrival of New Zealand stars

Matt Proctor
Matt Proctor

Ahsee Tuala and Api Ratuniyarawa will return to Saints next week following the conclusion of their World Cup commitments.

And Saints will also soon welcome New Zealand internationals Owen Franks and Matt Proctor to Franklin's Gardens.

Owen Franks

Owen Franks

Tuala's Samoa and Ratuniyarawa's Fiji were eliminated at the pool stages in Japan.

And they have been given a week off by Saints boss Chris Boyd.

"Ace and Api are away this week," Boyd said at Tuesday's media session.

"Some of those guys who have already been eliminated from the World Cup are back and around.

Ahsee Tuala

Ahsee Tuala

"Ace has gone back to New Zealand and will be back to train with us on Monday, as will Api, who is in Fiji currently.

"I've given those boys a week to get their head out of that and come back.

"I would have liked to have given them more but in both of those spaces, in consultation with them, they're both feeling pretty fresh.

"Neither of them have had a significant amount of game time but it's that mental hurdle around being in hotels and away from home.

Api Ratuniyarawa

Api Ratuniyarawa

"They've had demanding campaigns but not from a playing point of view so they will come back and we'll give them some rest when it's appropriate to do so."

Saints signed experienced prop Franks and talented centre Proctor from the Crusaders and the Hurricanes respectively this summer.

And Boyd said: "Both of them are to be released from the New Zealand Rugby Union the week prior to the (World Cup) final (on November 2).

"They're both on injury standby for the All Blacks for the World Cup so once they've been cleared of that, which will be the last week in October or first week in November, they will be straight on a plane and over."