Vesty: Saints looking forward to a fresh start

Chris Boyd, Phil Dowson and Sam Vesty are part of a new-look coaching staff at Saints
Chris Boyd, Phil Dowson and Sam Vesty are part of a new-look coaching staff at Saints

Attack coach Sam Vesty says everyone at Saints is looking forward to a fresh start.

Vesty is one of several summer arrivals, with the coaching group and the playing squad given a revamp ahead of the new campaign at Franklin's Gardens.

New boss Chris Boyd will arrive early next month, following the conclusion of his Super Rugby commitments with the Hurricanes.

And excitement levels are high ahead of three pre-season games and the Gallagher Premiership opener at Gloucester on September 1.

Saints finished ninth last season in what was a turbulent campaign that saw the departure of Jim Mallinder, who had spent more than 10 years as Northampton director of rugby.

And now the focus is on the future, with Vesty, Boyd and Co desperate to bring the good times back to the Gardens.

“The players are well aware of the way that they performed last year and they are not happy with their performance in the league table,” said Vesty, who has arrived from Worcester Warriors.

“They have come in with massively renewed endeavour with the new coaches coming in and there’s a really good vibe about the place.

“With Chris (Boyd) coming in and bringing in myself and his own coaching group, there is a real drive to try to get better and I think the players see it as a fresh start.

“Of course, we have to learn the lessons from the past, but let’s look forward and everyone is getting very excited for the new season.”

Rugby returns to the Gardens on Friday night, with Saints taking on Gloucester and Wasps in the pool stages of the Premiership Rugby 7s.

And Vesty can't wait to see which players lay an early marker down in the black, green and gold.

“It’s great to have Franklin’s Gardens with some people in it so early in the season as the pitch is looking gorgeous as ever and there will be a really good vibe out there," he said.

“I love the tournament as it’s the first chance players get to get out there and compete in a Northampton shirt and a really good opportunity.

“I’m glad it’s at Franklin’s Gardens and I’m really looking forward to watching it and seeing who puts their hands up to say 'look at me, watch me'.

“It shows off players not just from an attacking point of view, but how hungry players are to make tackles and you learn a lot just watching people play sevens.

“It’s really exciting and it kicks the season off in a great way.

"I’m just looking forward to watching the guys and seeing who puts their hand up.

“If they can put in some good performances and say, ‘look at me, I’m going to work really hard and I’m the guy you need to look at’, then it can only help.

“We want to get lots of fans out for a great, enjoyable weekend, with lots of quality rugby and usually the emerging talent from the squads, which is always good.”