Dorian West admits there is a lot of disappointment among the Saints players who have been released by England this autumn.
But he has hailed their ‘spot on’ attitude during a turbulent time of switching between club rugby and international training camps.
Calum Clark, Lee Dickson, Stephen Myler and Luther Burrell have all been with England this month, but none of them have managed to make it into a matchday squad.
Instead, they have returned to Saints, with all four shining in the superb 31-24 Aviva Premiership success at Saracens last weekend.
And West said: “I know there’s a lot of disappointment among those lads and they’re not quite happy that they’ve not been selected in England squads over the past few weeks, but fair play to them - they’ve been desperate to get on the pitch for the Saints to prove the selectors wrong.
“It’s good for us in that the lads are desperate to play, and play well and give everything they’ve got for the Saints and that’s all we can ask.”
And when asked how surprised he is that his men haven’t been selected, West said: “You always support and respect your own players.
“Those lads play for us because we think they’re quality players and their performances over the season and last season have warranted that they get looked at by England.
“I know Calum’s particularly disappointed he’s not had a chance but, fair play, their attitude has been spot on when they’ve been back here.
“They’re desperate to play for us and hold their hand up again.”