Dylan Hartley says Saturday’s clash with Leicester Tigers at Franklin’s Gardens is one every Saints player looks forward to.
And the England star believes he and his team-mates have enjoyed the ideal preparation for derby day after thrashing Treviso 67-0 on Saturday.
Hartley started for the first time since returning from international duty and helped his side to a comfortable Champions Cup success.
Now Saints, who currently top the Aviva Premiership, will turn their attentions to a showdown with the old enemy.
And Hartley said: “It was a good little run-out on Saturday, nice to be playing at home, too. It felt good.
“Everyone’s happy to be involved in a game like that and it’s nice leading into next week.
“It’s one game on the calendar we all look forward to and it’s a good run pre-Leicester.
“There’s good confidence in the camp and in the manner in which we played.
“We played good, direct rugby but we’re under no illusions we’ll have to step it up again.”
Saturday’s evisceration of Treviso included 11 tries, with Samu Manoa and Ken Pisi both scoring hat-tricks.
And Hartley was happy with how professional his side were on their way to a win that has put them a point clear of Racing Metro in Pool 5.
“We were drawing on points with Racing going into the game and points difference is crucial for us,” he said.
“It was important we kept the zero on the scoreboard for Treviso and scoring so many points ourselves is a huge positive.
“We didn’t play loosely, we played direct. We found something that worked for us - our scrum and maul was very effective and we stuck to it.
“It was a really professional all-round performance, really good for the squad.”