'Exciting selection' as Saints travel to Newcastle

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This weekend will be one where Saints players will be scattered across the globe.

The majority will be at Kingston Park in Newcastle as the black, green and gold take on the Falcons in the final pool game of the Premiership Rugby Cup.

David Ribbans will be at Twickenham after being named on the bench for England's Autumn Nations Series clash with New Zealand.

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Sam Matavesi is with Fiji for their clash with France Barbarians, while many members of the Saints squad will be on some sort of holiday as they are given a well-earned rest.

Tom Collins starts for Saints against Newcastle on SaturdayTom Collins starts for Saints against Newcastle on Saturday
Tom Collins starts for Saints against Newcastle on Saturday

The Saints coaches took the decision to give squad members who have played the majority of minutes this season the week off following the hugely frustrating 45-39 defeat at Saracens last Sunday.

And assistant coach Matt Ferguson knows how vital that rest and recuperation will be as Saints face a huge schedule from the start of December.

"It's a bit of a natural break that we knew was coming with the cup game this weekend and the Barbarians match next weekend," Ferguson said.

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"Among the squad, the highly-raced players have been given the week off, other boys are in part-training and then we've got the lads who are going into this week's game.

"It will freshen up the squad nicely for the run-in towards Christmas.

"For me, I massively enjoy being part of this Premiership Rugby Cup competition because the energy you get from those players is great.

"Dows (Saints boss Phil Dowson) would often say that our performance on a Saturday is a huge reflection of what happens on a Thursday in our 15 v 15 session.

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"When the boys are putting our starting team under real pressure in training, that clearly prepares them better for the weekend.

"Those boys get the chance to be the number ones this weekend and they get a chance to be put under pressure.

"They've taken those chances really well throughout this tournament so far.

"We're in a situation at the moment where we don't need to bring any guests in so it will be a full Saints contracted team and there will be some real experience and a really exciting selection."