West admits it’s ‘crucial’ Saints secure home Champions Cup quarter-final

Dorian West
Dorian West

Dorian West says it is crucial Saints see off Racing Metro and claim a home quarter-final in this season’s Champions Cup.

Victory at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday will see Northampton top Pool 5 and progress with the most points of any side in the competition.

That would guarantee a date at stadium:mk on the first weekend of April, with Saints holding happy memories of the ground.

When they reached the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup in 2011, Jim Mallinder’s men defeated Ulster in the last eight and Perpignan in the semi-finals in Milton Keynes.

And West said: “Having home advantage makes a massive difference.

“When we reached the final in 2011 we did really well to get that home quarter and it’s huge to be in front of your home crowd.

“A year earlier (in 2010) we had to go to Munster in the last eight and it’s a really difficult situation when you’re away from home in front of a passionate crowd.

“It’s important that we get to play the game at home, it gives you an advantage in terms of the support, but in the last eight of this competition all the sides are going to be tough.

“Even if you do get a home quarter, it’s never guaranteed that you’re going to get through.

“It’s not impossible to win an away quarter, but it’s crucial that we get a good result this weekend.”