Shackles are off for Saints against Munster, says skipper Ludlam

Lewis Ludlam says the shackles are off for Saints at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm).
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The black, green and gold will be big underdogs for their Heineken Champions Cup meeting with Munster.

But skipper Ludlam believes they will relish the fact that few people expect them to prevail in Limerick.

"We’ve obviously struggled away from home a little bit, which again is a frustrating thing," said Ludlam, who has seen his side lose eight of their 10 away games in all competitions this season.

Lewis LudlamLewis Ludlam
Lewis Ludlam

"The focus now, going forward, is enjoying the challenge of going away from home.

"From everything you see in the media and online this week, no-one backs us to go to Munster and get a result, which is such an exciting position to be in.

"To go there as underdogs, when all we need to do is put in a performance to give ourselves the best opportunity, it feels like the shackles are off a little bit and we can go down there, express ourselves and give it a good crack."

Saints were beaten 35-12 by Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park last Saturday.

And Ludlam said: "It was a really frustrating performance from us. We never gave ourselves an opportunity to fire a shot.

"It’s easy to be emotional, but when you don’t stick to a structure to allow yourself to be emotional within what we’re doing, it’s very hard.

"We let our structure go amiss a little bit and got over-excited, and that was the reason why it ended up how it did at the end.

"But I think the really pleasing thing is the attitude the boys have come back with this week to go back to basics, and go back to the things that help our game tick, to give ourselves the best opportunity this weekend."

While Saints have lacked consistency this season, Ludlam has not.

The England back row forward has constantly put in big performances for his club.

But he insists there is still plenty of work to be done on his own game.

"I feel like I’ve been going alright," Ludlam said.

"There are loads of things I need to work on, of course. I know I need to work on those things if I want to be considered for the Six Nations, but I think the focus for me now is on performing for Saints.

"You can over-think things too much and get drawn into over-thinking selection, so for me my focus is on performing at the weekend and being a better player than I was last week."

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