Saints set for 'great challenge' at Saracens

Chris Boyd's Saints start their Gallagher Premiership season today
Chris Boyd's Saints start their Gallagher Premiership season today

Saints boss Chris Boyd has labelled this afternoon's Gallagher Premiership season opener at Saracens 'a great challenge' for his side.

The black, green and gold have not won at Allianz Park since March 2016 and they have lost their past six Premiership games against Saracens.

But Boyd is excited about the task that lies ahead for his team, playing down the significance of Saracens being without a host of World Cup players.

"It's a bit of a cop out really but all the games are going to be tough," Boyd said.

"If you get Saracens in week one or week 22, Saracens are still Saracens.

"But equally if you get someone else in week one or week 22, they're all there to compete against and we'll just roll our sleeves up and do the best we can.

"We'll always go into a game believing we can win - that's a minimum requirement.

"The reality is that Saracens have got a remarkable record at home.

"Sale beat them in the PRC (Premiership Rugby Cup) a couple of weeks ago and it was the first loss they'd had there for a long time.

"It's been a long time since Saints have played well enough to tip them up there and we know that Allianz Park is a tough place to go and get points.

"It doesn't mean we won't try. We will be trying as hard as we can but the reality is that we don't often come away from there with points.

"It's a great challenge for us."

Saints lost three of their four matches in the Premiership Rugby Cup, which was a four-week block used predominantly as pre-season preparation.

And Boyd said: "All clubs are the same - we've all got players away at the World Cup, we've got players who are still injured, young players who aren't ready, players who are in form and will obviously get selected and players who are out of form.

"We've picked our best 23 this weekend and Saracens will have picked their best 23, as all people will throughout the league, and we'll see how we go.

"But by and large, with what we've got available, we've been pretty happy with how they've been going."