Saints finally back on home soil after snow-hit trip to Timisoara

Saints saw their game at Timisoara cancelled on Saturday afternoon (picture: @saintsrugby)
Saints saw their game at Timisoara cancelled on Saturday afternoon (picture: @saintsrugby)

Saints finally arrived back at Birmingham Airport on Sunday night after a long weekend in Timisoara.

The squad that travelled to face Timisoara Saracens in a Challenge Cup clash, which was eventually cancelled due to heavy snow, touched down in England at around 7.30pm GMT today.

It brought an end to a testing weekend for players, coaches and supporters, who not only saw Saturday's game called off but also endured lengthy delays later that day.

The departure of the squad and the supporters' trip was brought forward to 5.30pm local time on Saturday evening but eventually abandoned, with everyone transported to hotels at around 3am.

Attempts had been made to shovel the snow from the area surrounding the aircraft but after the tug truck also got stuck, there was no other option but to disembark.

With the crew needing rest, a new flight was scheduled for approximately 5pm on Sunday evening and after de-icing of the wings was completed, the plane was allowed to leave.

Saints and their travelling supporters landed safely in England this evening, though some fans who were not on the club trip will have to wait until tomorrow to return home.

It was not the weekend those of a Northampton persuasion had in mind, but the spirits remained high throughout the experience.

Prop Paul Hill put together a quiz for all passengers on the plane to participate in, while comedic and thankful speeches were made by forwards coach Phil Dowson and chairman John White.

All in all, there were few complaints, despite all of the largely unavoidable disruption.

And the Saints players will now prepare for a busy week ahead with a Wanderers fixture against Worcester set to take place at Franklin's Gardens on Monday evening.

The first-team will then travel to the Warriors for a crucial Gallagher Premiership match on Friday night.

But many of the men who will feature for Saints in that game will be well rested, with the likes of Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar not on the trip to Timisoara.